Shelterhouse has been pursuing it mission and vision for more than 40 years since the agency was first founded in 1976 by a group of concerned citizens. By the end of that first year, temporary shelter was being provided in the homes of passionate and committed volunteers. In 1980, the organization opened its first official shelter and provided a range of services which include shelter, crisis counseling, advocacy, court accompaniment, education, a 24-hour crisis line, therapy, support groups and emergency intervention. On April 1, 1998, Shelterhouse moved into its current location, a renovated 7,000 square-foot facility located on M-20, allowing a growing number of clients to be served.
Recent accomplishments include:
- The Office on Violence against Women (OVW) grant received by Midland County one of three Blueprint for Safety grants nationally. The Blueprint for Safety is an interagency response to crimes of domestic violence. The Blueprint coordinates agency responses across the criminal legal system and outlines each practitioner’s role and responsibilities. Upon completion, Midland County will be one of seven counties nationwide that will be able to call themselves Blueprint Communities.
- Opening the Shelterhouse Resale Shop. This effort was entirely driven by the board of directors and Shelterhouse volunteers. The purpose of the Shelterhouse Resale Shop is to provide an income stream to maintain services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Another significant benefit is free access to the stock of the store for the people we serve who are able to select what they need privately and with dignity. Community members who may not be able to make a financial donation can still donate gently used clothing and household items to support Shelterhouse’s mission.
- Shelterhouse’s Advocacy Initiated Response programs which tips traditional advocacy on its head. In coordination with the Midland Police and Sheriff’s Office, rather than wait for someone who has been victimized to contact Shelterhouse, a trained advocate reaches out to them in their moment of need. This early intervention has been shown to enhance safety and increase engagement with the criminal justice system.