SAFEHOME traces its beginnings to one late evening in 1979 when Martha Hunt opened her front door to find a neighbor, bruised and bleeding, with her two small children. The young school teacher had been shoved out of a moving vehicle by her violently abusive husband. Afraid for her life and with nowhere safe to turn, the young woman came to Martha’s door for help. Finding no services in Johnson County for victims of domestic abuse, Martha organized community members creating a network of safe houses to shelter women and children in need. These first efforts were the beginning of SAFEHOME. Over time, as women learned that there was help available, the request for services grew. In 1984, a 15-bed facility was opened; in 1987, the shelter facility expanded to 29 beds. In August 2006, SAFEHOME moved into a new, 45-bed facility that provides one central location for expanded shelter, outreach counseling and administrative services.
SAFEHOME’s mission is to break the cycle of domestic violence and partner abuse for victims and their children by providing shelter, advocacy, counseling and prevention education in our community. Offering a comprehensive, holistic approach to changing – and even saving – lives, our distinctive and effective features include:
- A shelter facility that offers families private rooms, promoting healing and feelings of safety and security. This differs from most shelters that have shared, dorm-like accommodations.
- A continuum of services that begins with helping victims survive an immediate crisis and follows up with ongoing support and advocacy to help them fully realize their strengths and options in order to permanently escape abuse.
- A broad community presence in local schools, hospitals, medical clinics and the District Court, making us visible and easily accessible to victims.
- The only domestic violence agency in the KC metropolitian area with a full-time, in-house staff attorney who provides legal guidance and representation and on-site court advocates who offer peace of mind as they assist clients with obtaining legal protection from their abusers.
SAFEHOME opens the door to integrated care for victims of domestic violence, who typically experience multiple barriers to accessing services, by offering a no-cost, confidential clinical program and comprehensive services. SAFEHOME connects victims to coordinated care through our strong community partnerships.