November 24, 2021

Safe Shelter at Capacity

YWCA Spokane’s Emergency Safe Shelter Has Been at Capacity Nearly All of 2021

Rather than turn survivors away when the shelter is full, YWCA advocates rely on hotel availability to fulfill our commitment to finding safe locations where survivors can escape dangerous abuse situations.

This is an expensive and imperfect solution with an average cost of $50 per night.

Facing a community-wide housing crisis, YWCA Spokane has seen a growing need for shelter and housing services for domestic violence survivors over the past year. The truth is that this growing need is greater than we can meet with our current shelter and staffing capacity.

In the long term, we need to raise significant funds to create more housing and hire more staff. In the short term, we need to raise $75,000 before December 31st to continue providing safe shelter to survivors escaping abusive situations.

About Our Safe Shelter

YWCA Safe Shelter Staff in the shelter’s shared kitchen space

Emergency shelters and access to housing are essential for victims of domestic violence who leave their abusive partners in search of safety. For over 20 years, YWCA Spokane’s domestic violence safe shelter has provided a safe place for women and children escaping domestic violence situations, while connecting them to resources to heal trauma and find long term stability.

With 11 suites of varying sizes, our shelter houses an average of 15 residents at a time, plus whatever pets they may need to bring with them. Aligned with the federal Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, allowing pets at our shelter reduces one of the many hardships a survivor comes up against in planning to leave a violent situation–the fear of putting their pets in danger by leaving them behind. No immunization records or service animal requirements are necessary for shelter admittance.

Mindful about the nature of the cycle of power and control that causes survivors to leave and return to an abusive situation an average of 8-10 times before leaving for good, survivors are welcome to return to our shelter for multiple periods of time. Experience has shown that a survivor is more likely to go back to her abuser if the stress experienced when transitioning to alternative housing increases beyond a certain threshold, so we actively work to reduce as much stress as possible and focus on creating a trauma informed environment, with the hopes of instilling a sense of beloved community for those we serve.

With individualized support from YWCA Spokane Housing Advocates, and access to all of our wrap-around domestic violence services, we ensure that survivors have the support they need to achieve long term safety and stability.

In 2020, 628 women and children escaping abusive relationships found a safe place to stay through our shelter and housing services.

Will you help provide safety and shelter for a survivor in need this holiday season?

What Your Gift Can Do

  • $100 provides one week of food and nourishment for a survivor and child in our emergency shelter. ($9 a month)
  • $500 provides a survivor fleeing a violent relationship with 10 days of a hotel stay when our shelters have reached maximum capacity or when a survivor identifies as male. ($42 a month)
  • $1,000 to provides beds, blankets, linens, and household essentials for a survivor and her children when they move out of our shelter into their new home and away from their abuser. ($84 a month)
  • $5,000 provides one year of safe housing and supportive services for a survivor and child including counseling, legal support, job readiness, and emergency childcare. ($417 a month)


By: Bridget Smith

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