Where is the shelter?
There are two shelters for women in Charlotte . One is the Salvation Army Women's Shelter (SAWS) that is located on Spratt St., the other one is The Shelter for Battered Women (SBW). The Shelter for Battered Women is at an undisclosed location for security reasons.
Which one should I stay at?
If security is your concern, you're a victim of domestic violence and you want a location that is kept a secret you should seek shelter at The Battered Women's Shelter.
How do I get there
SBW- A call must first be made to the shelter (332-2513) to verify that there is room at the shelter. You can then transport yourself to the shelter or you can call 911 and have an officer transport you if you don't have transportation to the shelter.
How do I know they'll allow me to be there?
SBW - Your call or an officer's call will verify whether there's space and whether the shelter will meet your needs.
Do they allow children there?
SBW - Yes. For those of you who are worried that your children may not like the shelter or you may not be able to have the resources available to you to take care of your children, please note that the shelter has cribs, diapers, food and toys etc… for children. There's a playground outside and a playroom inside.
What kinds of items do they have? What do I need to bring?
SBW - If you need to get to the shelter in a hurry and you can't pack items, the shelter can usually accommodate your needs. It's recommended that you keep the following items in a hidden location just in case you must leave for the shelter (or your home in general) in a hurry:
- $50 or more in cash
- a small bag with extra clothing for you and your children
- any important papers including:
- bank account numbers, check books, Social Security numbers, your partner's date of birth and work place, insurance policies, marriage license, birth certificates for you and your children, and a list of important phone numbers
- sentimental valuables and photos
- any special medication for children
- extra keys for house and car.
Does it cost anything to stay at the shelter?
SBW - No.
How big is the shelter?
There are 24 beds and 4 cribs there.
How long can I stay?
SBW - 30 days. During this time you'll be working with a counselor who helps you set goals. The counselor and you will make a list of your goals (needs) and the two of you will work on how to prioritize and achieve those goals. Housing will most likely be something that will be one of your goals and the hope is that you will have another place to stay after 30 days.
Is there a transportation line nearby
SBW - Yes. There is a bus stop within a short walking distance from the shelter.
Do they offer daycare?
SBW - Yes.
Do they have a kitchen? Can we use it
SBW - Yes. There is a kitchen. Meals are served, however, Monday-Friday – 3 times per day. Residents are allowed to use the kitchen on Saturdays and Sundays.
Does everyone sleep on cots all lined up in a row like some homeless shelters depicted on TV? SBW - No. If you're a single women without children it's likely that you'll have one roommate and share a bathroom with a few women. If you're a woman with several children it's likely that you'll have your own room.
Do they have phones?
SBW - Yes, for local calls. A resident has to consult with a counselor if there is a dire need for long distance calls.
Can I get any visitors there?
SBW - Visitors have to be okayed by all the residents since this is a confidential establishment but if okayed female visitors are allowed.
Is there a grocery store nearby?
SBW - Yes.
Do they offer counseling ?
SBW - Yes and you'll be required to speak with a counselor. These sessions will be used to prioritize your needs / goals and set up a plan to attain them. These goals usually involve finding housing, a job, etc You can continue to see your counselor 2-3 months after you leave the shelter if you wish.
How is my stay really going to be?
SBW - You'll be required to be active in taking care of basic survival issues with your counselor. You'll also be required to attend a meeting on Sunday night (a meeting in which house chores are allocated) and a Monday night support meeting. There is also an optional Wednesday night workshop with varying themes including makeovers, haircuts, budgeting, massage therapy, putting clothes together etc.
Is there a lot of crime at the shelter?
SBW - No.
Is there a place to park my car?
SBW - There are parking spaces within walking distance to the shelter.
How can my children get to school?
SBW - All the school age children who are staying at the shelter attend schools in Mecklenburg County in a program called "A Child's Place". School personnel in these schools are educated about domestic violence, and they are not allowed to let the children to leave the school campus without permission. The other children in the school will have no idea that your child is staying at the shelter unless your child shares that information with them.
Is there security?
SBW - Yes. There are armed officers that patrol the area.