New Hampshire

Shelter

Emily's Place is a confidential safe shelter for women and their children fleeing from domestic or sexual violence.

***Safety Note: If you are in need of immediate shelter, please call 603-668-2299 and speak with an advocate 24 hours a day.***

Emily’s Place: A New Beginning

For many women and their children, Emily’s Place is the first safe “home” they have ever experienced. Even though it is emergency housing, residents can finally begin to reclaim their lives and build up self-esteem, resources, and hope to start their lives over free from violence.

The Basics

Emily’s Place is a renovated family home where women and their children can experience supportive community living while rebuilding their lives after family violence.

  • CONFIDENTIAL LOCATION and secure building.
  • Six spacious rooms for 6 women and their children.
  • Up to 15 residents at a time.
  • Support is available for clients trying to maintain substance free lives, however, alcohol and drugs are not permitted in the house.
  • For safety and security, residents must be in the house by 9 pm.
  • To ensure everyone’s safety, residents must sleep at the shelter every night.
  • Children are permitted to stay with their mother at the shelter up to their 18th birthday.
     

Eligibility for Residence

Residents of Emily’s Place are usually fleeing from intimate partner violence, have exhausted all their other resources, and need a safe place to stay while they decide what they would like to do about their relationship.

Recommended….please bring these items with you if you can.
Birth certificates, green cards/visa, passports, insurance cards, medications, social security cards, money/checkbook, EBT card, school records, medical records, driver’s license, photo ID, divorce/custody papers, other court papers like restraining orders, lease/deed to house, clothing & sentimental items. These are NOT required and client should not risk their safety trying to collect these items. Staff will assist you with replacing them if necessary.

We cannot accept shelter clients whose primary issue is eviction or homelessness, adult male clients, or coping with non-intimate partner domestic violence (siblings, etc.). Advocates have been trained to assist you with locating community services or agencies that address these issues. Please call the YWCA Crisis Service office at 603-625-5785 ext. 150 for other emergency shelter and housing resources.

How do I get into shelter?

***Safety Hint: Go to a hospital or police department if you are not in a safe location. A phone can be made available for you.***
(You do not have to check in for treatment or make a police report. During evening hours, these are the only locations where an advocate can meet you.)

1. If you need to get into shelter TODAY, call the Crisis Line at 603-668-2299. You will be asked to give your name and phone number so an advocate can call you back.

2. During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., you can call the YWCA Crisis Service directly at 603-625-5785 ext. 150.

3. During regular business hours, you can also go directly to the YWCA Crisis Service and ask to speak with an advocate in person.

For some clients, it is safer to plan to leave in a more gradual way. We can hold a room at Emily’s Place for you and help you safety plan.

What can I expect when I go into shelter?

First, an advocate will meet you at a safe location: the office, a hospital, or a police station. The advocate will transport you and your children to the shelter.

Next, shelter staff will complete any necessary paperwork with you. You will be given a tour of the shelter, shown to your new room, and given the basic necessities such as sheets, towels, and toiletries (if you did not bring your own). Shelter staff will assist you with food shopping for the first night/weekend until you can case plan with staff about benefits (next business day). After you have settled in for the first night/weekend, you will have time to rest.

On the next business day, you can expect the following:

  • You will learn more about the safety guidelines & expectations of the shelter including a tour of the house, the door code, and the alarm code.
  • Staff will help you get the children enrolled in school and/or childcare.
  • Staff will help you to apply for any benefits and to obtain preventative medical care.
  • Staff will meet with you to set goals and make a plan of action to reach those goals.
  • You may need to go to other community agencies to apply for additional services.

Community Living

Community living can be a challenge if you have always kept your own home or if the abusive partner made all the decisions. It may feel awkward and overwhelming to finally be free to make your own choices and decisions. It can also feel difficult to follow safety guidelines and expectations when you have finally left someone who was very controlling. In addition, you may feel a range of emotions of being on your own or with just your children.

There are benefits to living in a community of women who have had similar experiences with relationship violence. Some residents have said:

“Everyone understood what I had been through. I didn’t have to explain
every little thing about my life.”

“Staff was really helpful by just listening to me when I needed to talk.”

“Sometimes it was hard to want to do anything. Having the other women
to cook and eat with made it a little better.”

“I had flashbacks and anxiety, but at least I knew the house was safe and alarmed.”

For privacy, shelter residents will be assigned their own room with a key to lock their personal belongings in their room. It is the expectation that all residents will keep personal items, medications, and valuables locked in their room. Residents are expected to keep their rooms orderly and clean. Weekly room checks may be done by staff for health and safety reasons. The hallways are to be kept clear for fire code reasons.

As it is in any home, common areas including a kitchen, dining room, living room, child play room, bathrooms and laundry facilities are shared by all the residents. Having so many people using the areas, it takes everyone’s help to keep the house going. Residents will be asked to do a chore to help keep the house functioning. Cleaning supplies are provided by the staff when donations permit.

Residents are expected to shop for, prepare, and clean up all their meals (as well as for their children). Residents will have their own shelf in the refrigerator and own cabinet for their food items. Staff can assist with meal planning and budgeting for food shopping.

Parenting in Shelter

Parenting can be challenging since the mother and children have to share the same room and the abusive partner may have undermined your parenting skills. Parents are expected to supervise their children at all times. Because you are the legal guardian of your child, you are the only person who can allow treatment should your child become ill or injured. Children are not to be left unattended or in the care of other residents. Staff can help you access appropriate childcare programs in the community. The staff can also help get school-age children registered and enrolled in the public schools. There are many parenting support groups and services in the area to help you adjust to the challenges of single parenting.

In-House Support and Conflict Resolution

House meetings are held each week. This is a time for staff to check in with residents about how community living is working. This provides an opportunity for group problem solving when house issues need to be addressed.

Residents are expected to treat each other with respect, using positive language and behavior to negotiate conflicts. We recognize that living with new people can be challenging and staff is available to assist with conflict resolution.

What can I do with all my personal belongings?

The women and children who come to Emily’s Place are in fear from their safety. This may mean giving up many of the “physical comforts” of home. Unfortunately, there is no storage space except for bedrooms. It is recommended that you bring only personal belongings needed for day to day living. You may want to plan for a family member or friend to help you store items like furniture etc. Please know that one car load must be able to fit your family and your family’s items. Sentimental items like photos etc. are not replaceable and residents are encouraged to bring those items to the shelter. This also helps with children who may feel unsettled while living at the shelter.

How long can I stay at Emily’s Place?

There is no limit on the length of stay at Emily’s Place as long as the resident is compliant with safety guidelines and is working towards their goals in their case management. There have been times when the services provided at the shelter are not compatible with the needs of the resident. In these cases, staff will assist residents in seeking more appropriate housing or programs.

When the safety of the house, the residents, or the staff is at risk, staff reserves the right to end a resident’s participation in the shelter program. These reasons can include:

  • Disclosing the location of the shelter
  • Disclosing the names or other identifying information about another residentEngaging in illegal activity while in residence (we do accept women who may be defendants in domestic violence cases if they need safe shelter)
  • Abusive behavior towards staff, self or others
  • Use of alcohol or drugs while in shelter

Whenever possible, a solution other than ending services will be explored. If residents can no longer participate the shelter program safely, staff will assist with locating alternative shelter or housing.


Emily’s Story

Emily’s story was discovered by a woman named Sharon. Sharon was a volunteer for the YWCA Crisis Service and she was also working on a project called the “History of Women”. While researching at the Schlesinger Library, Sharon came across a letter dated 10 of November 1882. In this letter a woman named Alice wrote to her friend Katie:

“My Dear Katie,

My Husband read in the able and reliable paper, the Appleton Crescent,
this article an hour ago. As soon as my duties would permit, I hastened
to peruse the same. Judge of my surprise and horror when I read the following:

“When Mrs. Rudolph Hines defeated her husband at croquet Sunday afternoon, at Woodbury, NJ, he kicked her with a heavy boot. She became unconscious and died shortly thereafter.”

“Now although I was never on terms of intimacy with Mrs. Rudolph Hines, indeed this is the first time I ever knew there is such a woman, and just when I have been made acquainted with the fact, it appears she has been kicked out of existence. Still my feelings go out in sympathy to beat her husband at croquet.”

Mrs. Rudolph Hines was Emily. It is in her honor that the YWCA Crisis Service chose to name our domestic violence shelter. It is believed that the incidence of violence that took her life was not the first beating she had received, for we know that violence tends to escalate, and a kick to the head sufficient to kill must have been preceded by many other incidents of assault. As a battered woman, Emily faced a lifetime of violence. She was well aware of the fact that if she dared challenge her husband, if she dared to win that game of croquet, she would be the target of his anger and his violence. Yet, Emily chose to challenge her husband that day in Woodbury, New Jersey. In doing so, she was challenging the violence and oppression of all women.

At that moment, Emily must have felt her own power as a strong courageous woman refusing to give to give in, refusing to despair. Emily was not a victim, not by any standards. Yes, she was killed by her husband, but Emily has transmitted her strength and courage to woman who never met her. Strength and courage is given to Alice, to Katie, and to each woman who finds herself on the steps of Emily’s Place.

Emily dared and so we name that spirit, that moment of saying, “No. No more. I reclaim my life, no more losing when I could have won, no more saying “yes” when I want to scream no. I choose, no matter what the cost.” We have named that spirit Emily. We have named our domestic violence shelter in her honor. She is not forgotten.

Emily’s place is where women and their children can go to get away, rebuild their lives, and take back their power. Emily’s Place was opened in 1988. This remarkable house can shelter up to 6 families. It is a place that women like Emily can turn to when they dare to, and they can dare safely.