FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I COME IN TO THE SHELTER?
You can start learning about the process of leaving and creating a personal safety plan by calling our 24-hour bilingual hotline and speaking to a trained advocate. If you decide that entering a shelter is the best option for you and your children, the advocate will perform a small interview and will answer any important questions you have before coming in.
WHAT DOES THE SHELTER LOOK LIKE?
The shelter is a regular, two-story home in Ventura County. If you passed it on the street, you probably wouldn’t know that it was a shelter! As we know this is a difficult transition for both you and your children, we make strong efforts to ensure that your experience at the shelter is as comfortable and “home-like” as possible. Although there are rooms in the shelter that you will share with other residents, like the kitchen and living room, we try to provide all residents with the opportunity to reclaim their privacy and boundaries, gain respect from other members of the household, and to learn and demonstrate healthy parent-child relationships. The shelter will be (although temporarily) your home, and we want you to treat this experience as a new start for you and your family!
WILL THERE BE SOMEONE THERE TO HELP ME WITH THIS TRANSITION?
We have advocates at the shelter 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. All advocates are available to assist you with any needs you may have, such as finding ways to increase your income, locating housing after shelter, connecting you with local resources, or just being available to listen.
WILL I BE ABLE TO SEE MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
It is important for you to connect with those family and friends who support your decision to leave your abusive partner. However, the process of leaving an abusive partner can increase your risk of danger. If your abusive partner knows where your trusted family and friends live, it may be unsafe to visit them at their homes. Shelter staff will be happy to help you consider all these issues and establish a safety plan so that you may connect with your loved ones safely.
WILL MY CHILDREN HAVE TO CHANGE SCHOOLS?
This is sometimes the hardest issue to deal with, especially with older children and when children are in special or exclusive schools. However, your child’s school may be the first place your abusive partner may go to look for you, or they may take your child out of school without you knowing. Most children that enter the shelter with their parent attend the school near the shelter, although we do have a good history of working with schools in identifying alternatives so that your child’s spot in that school may remain intact. We are happy to discuss these alternatives during your interview for shelter.
I HAVE LEFT BEFORE AND MY PARTNER STILL FOUND ME. HOW DO I KNOW THEY WON’T FIND ME HERE?
We try to maintain a strictly confidential location by enforcing California Penal Code Section 273.7. According to this law, no one is allowed to disclose the location of the shelter. Everyone that comes into shelter must agree that they will not tell anyone where the shelter is located.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING INTO THE SHELTER?
You may bring whatever you would like. We always suggest putting together important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, IDs and any other documents that may be difficult to obtain once you are away from your home. We do not have the space to hold large items, like furniture, at this time.
WILL I GET IN TROUBLE FOR TAKING MY CHILDREN OUT OF THE HOME?
As soon as you enter our shelter, we complete a “Good Cause Report” with you. This report is submitted to the Child Abduction Recovery Unit with the District Attorney’s office letting them know that you have brought your children into shelter with you with “good cause,” being the abuse you and/or they are experiencing at home, along with your personal information. If you have further questions about this process, feel free to contact the Child Abduction Recovery Unit at (805) 662-1755.
HOW MUCH DOES THE SHELTER COST?
All the services at the shelter are completely free of charge.
CAN I STILL WORK WHILE I’M IN SHELTER?
Yes, we encourage you to continue working (and carrying on with any other facets of your personal life) while you are in shelter. We will discuss safety precautions for you returning to work after moving into the shelter during our initial interview with you and the first day you come in.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY AT THE SHELTER?
Our shelter is a thirty day program. We offer a limited number of spots to qualified residents a second-step transitional program that lasts for up to four months with the help of the Women’s Legacy Foundation of Ventura County. Please call for more information.