The Family Crisis Center Emergency Safe Shelter provides up to 90 days of anonymous safe shelter to adult and child victims of domestic violence who are forced to flee their homes to avoid further violence. While residing in the Emergency Safe Shelter, clients are provided with services that will assist them in addressing the violence and finding a violence-free life after their stay at the shelter. These services include: shelter and meals for themselves and their children, crisis intervention and ongoing counseling, case management services (housing advocacy, medical referrals, job preparation, legal advocacy, resources and referrals) transportation expenses, support groups, parenting groups, children’s play groups, and school placement for children.
The Children’s Program at the FCC offers a supportive and nurturing environment for children who have been exposed to violence and conflict. It is a space where children can grow and build connections with caring adults through the experience of positive play. The playroom is designed to serve the needs of children ages 0-10 and is carefully organized into five designated areas of play including: dress up and make believe, books and reading, building area, arts and crafts and infant toys. Dedicated staff, interns and volunteers manage the playroom and consciously create a safe space that offers children and families the opportunity to move forward in positive ways.
The playroom also functions to allow parents to be able to attend case management meetings, support groups, therapist sessions and other programming that parents need but would not be able to attend without this supervised support.
The Children’s Program at The Family Crisis Center offers parents valuable resources and support during their time here at our shelter through various parent support groups. We partner with Project ACT from Abilities Network, an agency that offers a bi-weekly parent support group that addresses topics related to being a parent, including: self-care, child development, caring for your child(ren) during transitions, managing challenging behaviors, and more. The Children’s Program also offers an outlet for families to build positive parent-child interactions by offering weekly parent-child support groups and a weekly arts and crafts time where parents and children can enjoy painting, coloring, and other art projects together. Research suggests that offering interventions to abused mothers can provide benefits to children, especially when the interventions are focused on the specific needs of children. Providing a safe space where parents can play with their children, can help children who have experienced violence, feel more secure and strengthen family relationships, so that families can move forward and interrupt the cycle of violence.
Residents of the Emergency Safe Shelter are invited to participate in a variety of Enrichment Programs. Programs range from community living conversations, resume building workshops, therapeutic art experiences, meal planning and preparation classes and self-care opportunities. Special topics are covered in group discussion like dating safety, what to expect when moving to a new home and concerns about depression.
Yoga is offered to adults and children affected by acute and chronic stress. Our program incorporates yoga principles and practices that help develop emotional regulation, stabilization, and skills building. Participants focus on integrating breathing and meditation with a set of physical postures and movements. Elements of traditional yoga are modified to maximize tolerance, build participants’ experiences of empowerment, and cultivate a more positive relationship to one’s body. The four overarching themes of the intervention are to 1) experience the present moment, 2) make choices, 3) take effective action, and 4) create rhythms.
Food and Nutrition
The goal of the FCC Food and Nutrition Program is to promote healthy eating while highlighting the importance and awareness around family meal times. We provide breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner to the residents at the shelter. We closely follow the HEAL (Healthy Eating and Living) program which emphasizes using local ingredients and sustainable food sources to provide healthy meals that nourish both the body and the mind. In the works are plans to hold cooking classes, help with first dinner at home prep bags and small gardening to be able to grow our own veggies and herbs to incorporate in our daily meals. The hope is that what one grows and what one waters, all will enjoy.