SafeHouse Center
24/7 HelpLine: 734-995-5444
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Linea de Apoyo de 24 horas: 734-995-5444
Si esta en grave peligro, llame a 911.

Safehouse Center Fall 2023 Newsletter

An Update from our Executive Director

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and offers us the opportunity to reflect, remember and uplift the voices of survivors and victims of Intimate Partner Violence. It, therefore, seems very apt that I welcome you to the first edition of our new quarterly newsletter during this month, as we continue our unwavering commitment to providing safety, support, and healing to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The past few years has been a testament to the resilience of our organization and the unwavering spirit of our staff, volunteers, and the survivors we serve. We faced unprecedented challenges, navigating through a global pandemic as well as leadership transitions, yet we never wavered in our mission to empower survivors and work towards a safer community for all.

As we step into this new fiscal year, I want to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and share some exciting developments on the horizon:

1. Strengthening Our Programs: Over the last year, we worked hard at maintaining our supportive services, offering survivors a comprehensive range of resources, from crisis intervention &/ support to legal advocacy. We’re committed to continually improving and expanding our programs to better serve our community.

2. Community Engagement: Our outreach efforts have flourished, thanks to our dedicated team and the support of our community partners. We’ve engaged in vital conversations with community partners, community members and survivors, and continue to work hard at raising awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault.

3. Empowering Survivors: Every day, we witness the incredible strength and resilience of survivors. We are inspired by their stories and their determination to rebuild their lives. We will continue to empower survivors by providing them with the tools they need to thrive.

4. New Beginnings: This fiscal year, we are excited to embark on new initiatives and collaborations that will enhance our ability to support survivors. We are exploring innovative ways to expand our reach and make a lasting impact.

None of our achievements would have been possible without the incredible support of our community, donors, volunteers, and dedicated staff. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of survivors and working towards a safer and more compassionate society.

As we enter this new fiscal year, I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for your steadfast support. Your contributions, whether through donations, volunteer hours, or advocacy, are instrumental in our journey to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

In the coming months, I invite you to stay connected with us through our quarterly newsletter, social media, and events. Together, we will continue to raise awareness, support survivors, and create a brighter, safer future for all.

Thank you for being part of our community and sharing in our mission. With your continued support, we look forward to achieving even greater milestones in the year ahead.

Christine Watson

Executive Director

Volunteer Program

SafeHouse has a rich history of providing outstanding services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. We work within the local community and help lead efforts to create a violence-free society. We are excited to invite you to join us in this work! SafeHouse Center has two large umbrella groups of volunteer opportunities: Direct Services and Non-Direct Services.

Direct Service programs offer volunteers the opportunity to work directly with survivors and their children. All of these programs involve crisis intervention work.

  • We are pleased to have 33 new staff, interns and volunteers complete SafeHouse Center’s Direct Service CORE & program training in September. Our next training will be February 8-11, 2024, applications will be open by November.
  • We are currently seeking volunteers for our Non-Direct Service Front Desk volunteer position. Please reach out to for more information.
  • 4 BSW and MSW Interns joined SafeHouse Center in September from the following schools: the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, and Concordia University.
  • Community Awareness Volunteers continue to spread awareness at the Kerrytown Artisan Market and helped “purple up” the town with community partners. We have hung purple ribbons with information about domestic violence awareness month in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, WCC campus, U of M campus, EMU campus, and Concordia campus.
  • In October, we will be hosting a Zoom webinar on How to Support Survivors, all are welcome.
  • Are you looking for a presentation or information table to promote Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October? Click here to have a representative come to your next event.
  • The Teen Voice Program is on pause and will resume in January 2024.

Response Team & Legal Advocacy Program

SafeHouse Center Legal Advocates provide informational and emotional support to survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and sexual assault as they engage with the criminal or civil legal system.

Legal advocates continue to attend all court hearings pertaining to domestic violence. The majority of hearings are now in person, with only Judge Washington and Judge Perry continuing their Pretrial docket via zoom.

The PPO office is now open Monday-Thursday from 8am-4:30 pm. The office is open for Walk-ins, no appointment needed! The PPO advocate also attended PPO hearings, and assisted with coordinating service of orders, filing motions to extend PPO’s and filing show cause motions for violations of PPO’s.

The Response Team (RT) continues to work closely with law enforcement and hospital staff. Advocates provide support, empathy and resources to victims and patients.

SHC provides support to people that come to SHC for walk-in services. RT advocates assist with resources and other referrals.

Housing Program

The Housing Program at SafeHouse (SHC) Center consists of the Housing Manager and Rapid ReHousing (RRH) Advocate who assist survivors in locating safe and affordable housing as well as case management. The Housing Program provides services to survivors in shelter and non-residential services as well as community partnerships with SOS Community Services via RRH & Domestic Violence (DV) Implementation Program.

Survivors have been able to secure safe and affordable housing through the following Programs: RRH, Permanent Support Housing (PSH), a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), and the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV). Also, survivors have been able to increase their income and pay rent on their own or be eligible for subsidized housing. In addition, warm hand-off referrals have been received from SOS Community Services and Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) at Alpha House that has led to survivors being connected to SHC’s DV and Sexual Assault Services and Programs. One of our partner agencies Washtenaw Housing Alliance (WHA) shared some out of reach data (the high cost of housing) for Washtenaw County that there has been an increase in rental rates of $100 per month resulting in a 9% increase in homelessness this year, therefore, the need for safe and affordable housing for survivors is always a concern.

Recently, our community partner agencies via Housing Coordinators Network (HCN) have been able to form a Landlord Advisory Group to connect and meet with private landlords, realtors, etc. to see how we can work together to provide more housing in the county. As a result, connections have been made where some of these private landlords have been willing to work with our survivor individuals and families towards housing stability.

Crisis Line Program

Our 24hr Crisis Line is available to process the abuse you may have experienced, create a safety plan and explore options and resources available to you, including referrals to other SafeHouse Center services.

Our 24hr Crisis Line is also available to family and friends seeking support and resources.

Shelter & Children’s Program

Our emergency, temporary shelter is a place where survivors and their children can stay to find physical safety away from assailants. SafeHouse Center provides food, toiletries, and other daily essentials to all residents.

Survivors with children in shelter are offered children’s services, which can include; support with basic needs, DV & SV safety planning and education, child care and school enrollment advocacy and support, and group activities and field trips. 

Currently the shelter is working on planning the following fall events:

  • Trunk or Treat (looking for costume donations for the kids).
  • Pumpkin painting.
  • The Playroom will be open on Thursdays and Fridays starting 10/5.

Past events

  • 9/18: Self-care event before school starts event: dinner, prizes, massages, giveaways.
  • 9/22: Korean Dumpling class for shelter residents.
  • Received a third large fridge for the shelter from the county, THANK YOU!! This was much needed due to limited space as more families come into shelter. 
  • Verbal De-Escalation and Conflict Resolution Training, was held on 9/20 and 9/21.

Sexual Assault Services Program

The Sexual Assault Services Program provides free individual crisis support and advocacy to any survivor of sexual assault regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Crisis support is available for survivors fourteen years or older, no matter the age at which the assault occurred. Our Sexual Assault Legal Advocate is available to survivors who have contact with the criminal justice system due to a sexual assault. The Legal Advocate provides resources to help survivors understand the legal process and also accompany survivors to court hearings to provide support.

Survivors of sexual assault often feel alone and isolated as they cope with the effects of their assault and find it helpful to talk with other survivors who have had similar experiences. The SAS program offers support groups for those identifying as women, LGBTQIA+, survivors identifying as men and a black women’s group.

  • Every 68 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in America.
  • 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.
  • At least 84% of survivors knew their perpetrator prior to the assault.

Crisis Support Services Program

SafeHouse Center offers free individual crisis support and advocacy to any survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence ages 14 or older of any gender, regardless of the age when the assault occurred. Our trained advocates provide survivors the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions surrounding the effects of trauma caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and/or stalking.

Individual crisis support and advocacy is available on a short-term basis, typically between 3-6 months.

For child survivors under fourteen, we can provide appropriate referrals for counseling or therapy.

Crisis Support Services may include:

  • Information about sexual assault/domestic violence.
  • Coping mechanisms.
  • Understanding your rights and options.
  • Finding your own healing process.
  • Exploring your support systems.
  • Safety-planning.

The 9th Annual Purple Run is Coming Up!

The Purple Run is a 5K walk/run to raise awareness of domestic violence and stand up in support of survivors. All proceeds from the event go to Safehouse Center and allow us to fulfill our mission of providing free and confidential services to survivors of intimate-partner violence and sexual assault. We are so grateful to all in the community who have shown their support and we look forward to meeting you all at this year’s Purple Run!

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023
Time: 9:00AM Race Start
Location: Duderstadt Center, 2281 Bonisteel, Ann Arbor MI 48109

We’re running domestic violence out of town.

Register >

Our Quilt Sale is Back!

For more than thirty years the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild has sponsored SafeHouse Center. Not only do they provide quilts for all residents of our shelter, the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild also holds an online quilt sale each Fall with all proceeds going to Safehouse Center. The beautiful quilts have been lovingly made by members of the Guild.

Online Quilt Store >

Our Wishlist

We are currently requesting the following items that are needed most by our survivors:

Gift-cards (Wal-mart, Meijer, Kroger), body wash, laundry pods, charging blocks, stress balls, mini lotions, cozy socks, coloring books for adults, colored pencils, fidget toys, mini-tissue packets, sports bras (all sizes), undergarments (all sizes for women and men).

Any items can be dropped off at Safehouse Center from Monday-Friday 9:00AM – 2:00PM or mailed to: 4100 Clark Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

Our Wishlist >

Annual Appeal

As the year draws to a close, we pause to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve been on together. In the midst of profound challenges, your unwavering commitment has allowed us to provide a safe haven and a path to healing for those who have experienced some of their darkest of moments. However, the need for our services remains acute, and the road to healing for survivors can often be long and difficult. This year, we aim to raise $60,000 for the Annual Appeal to support our programs and the survivors we serve. These funds will allow us to continue to provide free and confidential services.