1. The idea that shelter is the only thing that a family leaving intimate partner violence needs suggests that OUT equals SAFE and unfortunately someone who gets OUT will face many things, SAFER is only one of them. Leaving an intimate partner also means rebuilding everything in your life that is connected to your abuser. The things that need to change will vary from one person to the next but often include major life shifts like new jobs, child care changes and different living arrangements. Many also face legal issues or have drawn out custody hearings to contend with. So shelter is only one of the many areas of need. Since there are some shelters in the state JudyGails has simply chosen to focus on some of the other needs our state has where there are much less resources and support.
2. We have spent hours personally visiting a number of shelters in various locations across the state. We personally spoke with directors and their staff to identify the largest areas of need as part of our feasibility study. There are residents who do use a communal shelter option, but only about 1/5th of those seeking services need this type of shelter for more than 24 hours. For those who do stay in shelters they are seldom equipped to leave the shelter at the end of 3 months (the longest they can stay due to state regulations). This may seem like a minor issue but there isn't anywhere in the entire state to send these people for long term assistance when the 3 months is up. As a result, shelters openly admit that they wrestle with the lack of options for ongoing transitional care.
3. JudyGails networks extensively in every community they serve. This means we can provide access to things like legal aid, licensed counselors, and safety planning without the extensive cost of hiring individuals to provide these services solely for JudyGails Place. Instead we hire and pay professionals for the services they provide for our clients when the services are needed. This allows our operational budget to remain lower while still offering clients access to a wide range of services in many different communities. It also allows more of the donated dollars to go directly to our clients rather than covering high operational costs.