Where are you located?
Our administrative office is located in Charleston. We do not disclose the location of the shelter due to safety issues.

What is the shelter like?
The shelter is very similar to any home. We have bedrooms, a kitchen, living room etc, toys, a TV, books, etc. We strive to make the shelter as comfortable and supportive as possible.

How do people find the shelter?
Many find the shelter through word of mouth, through family and friends who know the location. Others call our crisis-line, or are referred by law enforcement or other agencies.

How many people can stay at the shelter?
We can house 22-24 people, including children, at any given time. Sometimes we may have only a few; it’s often a fairly crowded place.

What do people do in the shelter?
The same things anyone else does in their homes, for the most part. Our shelter clients work, go to school, have appointments, watch TV, read books, play with their children. The difference for our clients is that of safety. HOPE staff spend time helping each client in forming a safety plan. This safety plan will include ideas on increasing safety while in shelter, when they are at work or other public places, important phone numbers, etc.

Can people leave the shelter to go to work?
We don’t lock anyone in the shelter. Clients are free to come and go as needed.

Who can stay in shelter?
Our shelter is open to any women (and their children) who are experiencing domestic violence. There are also some situations involving women and children experiencing homelessness

How long can they stay in shelter?
Generally 30 days.

Do abusers ever find the shelter or come there?
This does happen occasionally. When it does, staff call the police department for assistance.

Do you have security?
Our facilities have a state of the art security system. Combined with time tested safety protocols our shelter offers a safe environment for clients and their children.

Do you buy food for the women and children staying there?
We provide basic groceries for shelter. Clients cook their own meals on their own schedule.

Do you provide transportation or child care?
We can only provide limited/emergency transportation and child care.

Is there counseling available?
Counseling, both individual and group, is available to all HOPE clients.

What are some of the rules in shelter?
We like to call them “guidelines” and we try very hard to keep them to a minimum. Our shelter is designed to give women and children a safe, supportive place to go when needed and not to burden them with rules or control their lives. Some of the guidelines in place include prohibiting the use of alcohol/drugs, the use of non-violent language and behavior with all others (including children), and participation in daily chores.

Where do women and children go after shelter?
Some women may feel they have no choice but to return to their relationship. Many others obtain new housing in this, or other, communities. A number of clients have moved from shelter to our Transitional Housing Program.

What is Transitional Housing?
Transitional Housing is a program designed to assist domestic violence victims in reaching self-sufficiency. Clients can stay in the program for 12-24 months. During that time they work on issues like budgeting, education, job skills, and transportation. Clients also contribute to a savings account each month. At the end of their stay in the program this savings allows them to obtain permanent housing.

Where are the Transitional Housing properties located?
The actual locations are kept confidential. There are scattered sites throughout Coles County.

Are pets allowed in shelter?
Pets are generally not allowed in shelter or Transitional Housing. The only exceptions are certified service animals. HOPE advocates do have resources in the area and may be able to assist in making arrangements for pets if needed.

Can children go to school while in shelter?
HOPE believes that children should be in school. Moms in shelter have some options regarding their children’s education. If it is better for the child to continue attending their previous school, there are state laws that can assist in providing transportation.