Shelter Services

The Shelter offers a variety of services designed to empower victims of domestic violence and create a community of support. For more information about these and other services, please email us at or call our Community Outreach Center at 434-963-4676.

24-Hour Hotline:  The Shelter for Help in Emergency operates a 24-hour hotline for victims and survivors who need a safe place to talk, and for families and friends of survivors who may seek information to help their loved one. The hotline number is 434-293-8509 V/TTY (collect calls accepted). Language interpretation is available.

Shelter:  The Shelter for Help in Emergency offers emergency, temporary housing to victims of domestic violence in need of safety. There are 25 beds available and priority is given to residents of Planning District Ten, which encompasses the city of Charlottesville and the surrounding counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. Maximum stays at the Shelter are six weeks, with each stay evaluated in terms of the client’s danger level and available resources.

Counseling:  The Shelter provides free individual and group counseling to residents of the Shelter and community members seeking assistance in dealing with domestic violence. Support groups, including a Women in Transition group, are offered periodically throughout the year.

Case Management:  Shelter staff work with victims and survivors to build a large and diverse safety net of support and help them access community resources such as housing, employment, child care, substance abuse treatment, clothing, and food.

Children and Teen Programs:  An important step in breaking the cycle of abuse is to work with children and adolescents who have witnessed domestic violence. We offer structured group and individual therapeutic sessions for children and adolescents, as well as support for parents to help families overcome domestic violence.

Legal Advocacy:  While the Shelter does not employ a lawyer, staff members are available to assist victims of domestic violence in navigating the legal system.  Advocates can assist victims in obtaining protective orders and can provide court accompaniment.  These services are offered to residents of the Shelter and community members.

Address Confidentiality Program: A cost-free, confidential mail-forwarding service for victims of domestic violence who have recently relocated.

Services for the Spanish-speaking Community:  Recognizing the need to reach this growing population, the Shelter for Help in Emergency is able to provide a Spanish-speaking advocate for counseling, outreach, and legal advocacy.

Transitional Housing:   The Shelter for Help in Emergency offers transitional housing for families moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing.  Families may stay from 6 months to two years as they work to become self-sufficient.

Pet-Safe:  Our Pet-Safe Foster Program allows our clients to take their pets with them when they leave home seeking emergency shelter. We utilize volunteers who are willing to foster an animal in their home on a temporary basis, knowing that by providing kindness and care, they make a difference to families and animals in need. The volunteer’s compassion also provides the animal’s owner with peace of mind, and allows the individual time to seek counseling, develop new personal and professional skills, as well as increase self-esteem and independence.

Prevention Programs:  The purpose of the prevention program is to stop intimate partner violence before it begins by focusing on healthy relationships, increasing protective factors, and promoting positive youth development.  The Shelter offers evidence-based programs for middle and high school students including Safe Dates and Do YOU as well as Bystander Intervention trainings.

Educational Programs:  The mission of the Shelter for Help in Emergency is to end domestic violence in our community.  With that goal in mind, Shelter staff provide free educational programs to civic organizations, schools, workplaces, allied professionals, the faith community and other community groups requesting a training.

Volunteer Opportunities:  The Shelter offers many volunteer opportunities for those in the community interested in helping with this important issue.  Click here to view our volunteer opportunities.