Our confidential 45-day stay emergency shelter offers a safe and secure place of refuge and recovery for victims of domestic violence and their children. Our entire continuum of on-site provisions consists of food, clothing, hygiene items, support groups, parenting classes, one-on-one counseling, case management, legal, financial and medical advocacy, transportation, and children’s program including an on-site school for shelter children.
First 24 Hours
- Upon arrival, clients receive a tour of the facility and are showed to their own room. Each client has their own room to share with their children. Rooms are prepared with clean linens and freshly made beds. Each family member has their own bed and infants their own crib.
- Upon arrival, clients receive clothing and hygiene items.
- Each client is assigned to a Case Manager who will work with them throughout their shelter stay to formulate a safety plan, a strategy for the future and decide what is needed to move forward. The Case Manager introduces themselves to the family and assesses any immediate needs such as food and medical attention.
- We encourage the women to use their first few days in the program as respite and rest. We give them the option to participate in any of the daily programs (art therapy workshops, support groups, counseling, recreational activities) if they feel ready and comfortable.
A Shelter For Hope Now And For Her Future
When “Gracelia” initially called the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Shelter’s (WCCS) 24-hour hotline, she and her five children were forced out of their apartment by her partner. It was night time and the children ranged from 12 years of age to one month. She tried making a police report as advised by our hotline staff but was finally told by an Officer that there was no abuse and to return home. Hotline staff immediately made a child abuse report against “Gracelia’s” Batterer per the long history of beating “Gracelia” and the children. In the middle of the night the police were forced to respond by the Department of Children Family Services (DCFS) and with the DCFS’ Emergency Worker, they went to the apartment. “Gracelia” and all five children were directly transported to WCCS’s emergency shelter as a result. In the time “Gracelia” and her children have been at WCCS, they received intense therapy and advocacies. Children attended on-site school and participated in the Children’s program. “Gracelia” attended parenting and support groups. After a long fight to assure the safety of this family, “Gracelia” received a restraining order and the children, who are terrified of their father, will not have contact until they return to court for a review in 6 months. “Gracelia” and her children were accepted to a respected long term transitional shelter and are making an excellent adjustment in transitioning to the local community.
Stella’s Friendship House, named after one of our founding members, is a 9-month program providing housing and supportive services to victims and their children who have made the transition from emergency shelter, but are not yet ready to be on their own. Our transitional shelter is currently operating on a limited basis until secure funding is acquired.
What can be achieved?
The shelter and its resources are designed to offer a safe place for survivors of domestic violence and their children while they search for employment and/or work on continuing their education. Families receive supportive services in the form of case management and counseling throughout the duration of the program.
Offering the Tools To Transition into a New Life
In April of 2013, a young family of three moved into WCCS’ transitional housing program, Stella’s Friendship House, the first family to live there since 2010. All the staff, both shelter and Administrative, were thrilled to put our transitional shelter back to work! Then, in July, our second family was accepted to Stella’s Friendship House as well. Both families are doing extremely well. Our first family, a young mother with a one-year-old daughter and a five year old son, has discovered a deep sense of security and stability. The son is autistic and has been attending an excellent school program through the Whittier City School District. Mother has seen a tremendous change for the better in him since he has been enrolled in his special class. He also is served by the Regional Center and is home visited by a play therapist 17 hours a month. Mother is receiving therapy through WCCS and once she has saved enough money to purchase a small car, she will be able to begin her search for a job. She has an excellent work history and has already been offered various positions but because of the special needs of her son, and because of the age of her daughter, she has not been able to accept a position because of the lack of reliable transport. Mother continues to be optimistic about her future. She is in the process of a divorce and her husband remains incarcerated.
Our second family is comprised of another young mother with two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Both are currently attending school in the Whittier City School District and mother is seeking counseling for her children in the Whittier Community. She, too, has remained separate from her violent partner, and though there is court mandated child visitation, the father has voluntarily discontinued any visitation. Mother will be receiving her legal residency paperwork in October. She is extremely excited, because she is determined to work and save money for the future.
Both families have adjusted well to the Whittier community. They love the location of Stella’s Friendship House and the brightness and security of the apartments they now call home. Both mothers express tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to remain part of the WCCS family and are finally optimistic that they can advance their lives outside the cycle of violence!