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According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2020 report, women and girls represent 39% of people experiencing homelessness. An increasing number of females are experiencing "unsheltered homelessness," meaning they are staying on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not meant for habitation.
The Salvation Army women's shelters offer a caring and supportive environment for women, regardless of their marital status or whether they have children. Our shelters, spread across the country, serve as safe havens for those in need. We tailor our programs and services to meet the specific needs of each community. Whether it's providing immediate shelter, meals, clothing, medical assistance, counseling for substance use disorder, or long-term transitional housing, we are dedicated to assisting unhoused and abused women in attaining safe, stable, and affordable housing solutions.
The best way to find your nearest shelter is by contacting your local Salvation Army.
In a world where women face numerous challenges, the need for shelter and basic needs and services cannot be overstated. These shelters serve as lifelines, offering a compassionate and empathetic response to women in crisis and providing a safe haven for those escaping domestic abuse by creating a protective space where they can find solace from the pain and fear they have experienced. The Salvation Army Women's Shelters are a refuge where women can begin the healing process, surrounded by understanding staff and a community of support.
Compassion is needed now more than ever, and The Salvation Army's women's shelters represent beacons of hope offering empathy, understanding, and a commitment to supporting women as they heal and recover from crises. With each person we touch and each life we help to transform, our women's shelters create a ripple effect of love, healing, and renewed hope in the hearts of women who have faced unimaginable hardship and challenges.
Anyone who meets the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development criteria for homelessness is eligible for assistance from our women's shelters. The guidelines from the HUD website include:
In the face of adversity, finding hope and support makes all the difference in rebuilding lives. Our compassionate approach and unwavering commitment position The Salvation Army's women's shelters to embody hope for women in need. From offering safe havens to providing comprehensive programs and services, our women’s shelters aim to provide women with the tools and resources necessary to obtain housing security and rebuild their lives.
The work carried out by The Salvation Army's women's shelters is transformative. The programs and services we offer impact change in the lives of those we serve and inspire new beginnings. For example, The Salvation Army Austin Women's Shelter (ASWC) in Texas is a place of hope for women facing homelessness and seeking refuge from domestic violence. Since 2001, the 81-bed women's shelter has provided case management, rapid rehousing services, employment assistance, a computer learning lab, childcare, and child/family therapy on-site. ASWC is an award-winning shelter and is one of The Salvation Army's highest-performing programs.
Our transitional housing units are another important component of our support services. These units offer a safe environment where women can rebuild their lives and work toward making the transition from homelessness to stable housing and greater self-determination. This is a process that takes time and commitment, which is why our transitional housing programs can last anywhere from six months to two years. We are here to support every step of the journey toward a brighter future. The Salvation Army's Westwood Transitional Village is a community that believes in the power of second chances providing a lifeline for unhoused families in need. Westwood Transitional Village has created an environment for approximately 150 individuals, ensuring that single mothers and veteran families have dedicated units and children under 18 are given the care and attention they deserve. For new families, the 40-unit residential housing facility quickly becomes an integral source of support that provides a safe space for transformation.
Our commitment to supporting women who are experiencing homeless or fleeing domestic violence situations extends beyond the shelter walls. Our support programs provide ongoing assistance to women and their children after they leave the program for transitional or permanent housing. In Knoxville, Tennessee, The Salvation Army's Joy D. Baker Center has been providing crucial support since 1994 and serves as a women's shelter specifically designed for women and their children who have been affected by domestic violence or find themselves unhoused. Beyond offering a safe place to stay and nutritious meals, the dedicated 24-hour staff also serves as compassionate counselors. Additionally, our counselors coordinate with the local court and school systems, helping with job placements and making valuable referrals to other agencies to ensure that women and their children have every opportunity and can receive full support to rebuild their lives.
We're aware that for people who have experienced homelessness and for survivors of domestic violence, this can be a challenging journey; therefore, we are committed to being a constant source of support along the way. Resources will vary by location. In cities where we do not have women's shelters, we connect individuals facing housing and food insecurity with partner programs that provide emergency shelter services or financial assistance for emergency overnight housing costs. Our goal is to do everything within our power to ensure that every woman and child is afforded access to safe, secure, and stable housing.
Inspirational Stories of Resilience and Empowerment from Women Who Found Refuge in The Salvation Army's Women's Shelters
The stories and testimonials of women who have benefited from women's shelters are truly inspiring. These women have found safety and support in their time of need and have been able to rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic violence and homelessness.
0:00 The Judy Baker Center has changed my
0:02 life in many ways before I came here I
0:05 didn't have a home I didn't have a car I
0:09 honestly don't think I had a friend and
0:17 they took me in no questions asked and
0:22 they helped me to get on my feet the way
0:26 that I knew I could the Salvation Army
0:29 has changed my life because it helped me
0:32 get out of a situation that was I felt
0:35 was hopeless at the time I'm it provided
0:37 safe shelter for me and my daughters I'm
0:40 he gave me a chance to start life over
0:45 again a fresh start and I'm grateful for
0:48 that basically I came to the joy Baker
0:51 Center I packed up my car in the middle
0:55 of the night I packed up my Jeep and
0:56 stuffed it full and I packed up the kids
1:03 they were sleeping and I drove 24 hours
1:08 back home this is my home I left the
1:11 family that I had helped me raise my
1:13 children for five years and they turned
1:16 to a life of violence a life of crime
1:20 drugs and I decided that it wasn't good
1:24 for my children I'd have wanted to raise
1:26 my children knowing what love was some
1:29 of the things that we did being at the
1:32 joy breakers center some of the
1:34 activities that we were involved in
1:36 nutrition classes we did once a week
1:39 activities with the rainbow promises we
1:42 also had once the night it was
1:45 children's tonight those are the type of
1:47 things that my children hadn't been a
1:50 part of for a while so just being able
1:53 to do those things like the nutrition
1:55 class taught me how to prepare my meals
1:58 ahead of time with having my daughter
2:00 here with me and Cyn Salvation Army when
2:03 I was in the joy Baker Center for some
2:06 cards it helped me
2:08 heart I to reconnect the staff wants you
2:11 to be connected to your child they Zone
2:15 in on maybe behaviors or something
2:17 that's going on and they try to work
2:19 with you with that they helped Harwood
2:21 school if she needed tutoring or in
2:24 stuff that I could not you know help her
2:27 win I believe that the joy Baker Center
2:33 saved not only my life but the lives of
2:36 many and I've seen it there's hope all
2:40 you got to do is stir it up in your cup
2:42 a little bit my life today after moving
2:44 on from the joy d Baker Center has
2:47 become stable consistent I get chills
2:51 just thinking about it because I know
2:53 where I came from and what I was brought
2:56 through and just getting to the other
2:58 side of it today just makes me feel
3:01 grateful that there is a place the
3:04 jointing Baker said that I was able to
3:06 come to me and my children it was a
3:09 struggle but I do appreciate everything
3:12 that the center has done for me and I
3:16 just love life today and I know that at
3:19 the end of the day that we won and we
3:22 overcame it I coming from chaos I get to
3:28 put my children tonight know that
3:32 they're safe
3:36 I get to have the structure I guess you
3:42 know they get fed regardless
3:49 I have hope now where I did not at all
3:54 um I know that I can do it and I can do
3:59 it with my children if you reach out for
4:03 the hell it's there and they don't just
4:08 leave you there either they help you to
4:10 get on your feet I have a home my
4:14 daughter's in school I have a job I have
4:17 a car and I'm doing good and I honestly
4:22 honestly from the bottom of my heart to
4:25 say that I owe that not only to the joy
4:34 the baker suit her the to salvation army
4:36 as a whole
These success stories highlight the impact that women's shelters can have on the lives of women and families who need safe refuge. Through counseling, job training, childcare, and other services, women can rebuild their lives with a renewed sense of agency and independence.
Of course, the journey toward recovery is not always easy. Many women who access women's shelters may struggle with mental health issues because of trauma related to domestic violence and homelessness. However, through counseling and other forms of support, survivors of domestic violence can process their experiences in a safe space and develop coping strategies to help them move forward.
If you're eager to lend a helping hand to women in need within your community, consider reaching out to your local Salvation Army. The staff can provide you with information on the specific items or forms of support that are most needed now. Additionally, making a monetary donation to The Salvation Army is another important way to make a difference.
It's crucial to recognize that homelessness affects women in distinct ways, including a vulnerability to exploitation as well as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. By supporting The Salvation Army's women's shelters, you become instrumental in creating a haven for women who have nowhere else to turn. Our shelters offer more than just a roof overhead. They provide a safe refuge, nourishing meals, counseling services, job training, and comprehensive support systems to help women rebuild their lives from the ground up.
Remember, a small act of kindness can have a significant impact. By making a monthly donation to The Salvation Army, you provide ongoing assistance to your neighbors who are in desperate need. Together, we can make a lasting difference and extend a helping hand to women who need it most.
The Salvation Army's women's shelters offer a lifeline for women experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner violence. We provide a safe and secure environment where women can access essential resources, including counseling, medical care, and legal assistance. Our shelter programs and services are vital in helping women heal from the trauma of domestic violence and rebuild their lives. The Salvation Army relies on donations from individuals like you to ensure that these services remain available for women in need.
If you are moved by survivors' testimonies and want to make a difference in the lives of women facing homelessness or intimate partner violence, consider supporting The Salvation Army's women's shelters. Let's work together to support the crucial role of women's shelters in helping women experiencing homelessness not only to survive domestic violence but also to heal and thrive.
In providing programs and services to members of the community who are unhoused, The Salvation Army is committed to accommodating all those in need without unlawful discrimination or harassment based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic in accordance with our capacity to help.