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 Updates to Survivors and our Community

November 18, 2020

Service Updates

Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Washtenaw county, we will be suspending the following in-person services starting Monday, Nov. 23:

  • Walk-in visits to SafeHouse Center
  • In-person counseling appointments
  • In-person support groups

We are continuing to offer virtual counseling appointments and support groups during this time through phone or video conferencing. As we have maintained throughout the pandemic our residential shelter will remain fully operational and our HelpLine will still be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To access any of our services, or if you or anyone you know needs assistance because of domestic violence and sexual assault, please call our HelpLine at (734) 994-5444. 

August 24, 2020

Volunteer Program Updates

Program Applications are Now Open
We are currently accepting applications for the following volunteer programs ONLY:

  • Response Team
  • Support Group (only looking for men and Spanish speaking volunteers at this time)

All other volunteer programs are closed to applicants at this time. Please complete this contact form and a staff member will be in touch with you when other programs are open.

Virtual Information Sessions
We will be holding virtual information sessions about our volunteer programs throughout the year. Please consider registering for and attending one of these sessions before applying for a volunteer program.

Virtual Training Sessions
Trainings will be held virtually in October and January. Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page for more information on all of our volunteer programs and training sessions.

July 15, 2020

As an essential services provider, SafeHouse Center has provided shelter and support services to survivors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep our staff and service participants safe, we are adhering to the Washtenaw County Health standards and protocols developed by the CDC including health screenings, physical distancing, additional cleaning procedures, offering services remotely when possible, and more.

Read on to learn more about how we are providing these important services to survivors.

Walk-Ins and Counseling Appointments

If you are a survivor, we urge you to call our helpline at (734) 995-5444. If you are not safe to call, we are taking walk-in appointments. Ring the doorbell at 4100 Clark Rd and an advocate will assist you. Before entering the building we will do a health screening in a secure area and provide you with a mask if you do not have one. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, staff has been working diligently to digitize forms and update our confidentiality policies to allow us to transition from in-person services to virtual appointments via telephone and online video conferencing. Before moving forward with remote services, we surveyed current service participants to understand their needs and preferences. We learned that some survivors, particularly those in quarantine with their assailants, lack private and secure internet access. Other survivors told us of transportation challenges and lack of reliable childcare. For this reason we are proceeding with a hybrid approach to service delivery, where both remote and in-person counseling and support groups are available. We are hopeful that even after this crisis ends SafeHouse Center will continue to offer remote counseling services.

Support Groups – Online and In Person

SafeHouse Center holds weekly support groups for survivors of domestic violence, survivors of sexual assault, Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and men’s group for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Survivors can participate in support groups remotely or in person at SafeHouse Center following our health protocol.

Survivors who are interested in participating in a support group must be registered for that group. If you would like to attend a support group please call our 24-hour helpline (734) 995-5444 or email to get connected to a group facilitator. After an initial assessment, survivors will be given instructions to join the next available group.

Personal Protection Orders

Personal Protection Orders (PPO) are court orders requiring an assailant to cease all contact with a survivor for 182 days in order to prevent violence, threats, and stalking of the survivor. PPOs are one of the most important tools in establishing survivor safety and continue to be issued during the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

PPO forms are available both at the courthouse and online and can be submitted either way. SafeHouse Center staff is available to help survivors fill out and submit the PPOs at their request. Processing is usually completed by the courts within 24 hours, and in most case PPOs are granted ex parte, or without a hearing by the judge. If a judge were to deny a PPO ex parte, the survivor and the accused assailant would appear before the judge to plead their cases. During the pandemic, motions to have PPOs amended as well as hearings if a PPO was denied ex-parte are being held online.

In an effort to ease administrative burdens and ensure the ongoing safety of survivors during the pandemic, Governor Whitmer extended all PPOs until July 21st, 2020. To be enforceable, all extended PPOs have to be served again. 

June 19, 2020

SafeHouse Center will begin to accept walk-in and scheduled appointments on Monday, June 22, 2020, from 9:00 am to 5 pm.

Visitors will be required to do a screening before entering the building. We will ask everyone to wear a mask in the building.  If you do not have one, one will be provided to you.

At this time we WILL NOT be taking drop-off donations of household/wish-list items. If you have any questions please leave a message for Deb at (734) 973-0242, ext. 273.

To ask questions about our drop-in support groups, please email our groups facilitator at:

If you have further questions about groups or any of our services, our 24-hour HelpLine can be reached at 734-995-5444.

May 24, 2020

We are happy to announce the return of the following drop-in support groups. These support groups are available via Zoom video and/or audio conference.

  • Sexual Assault Support Group – Mondays, 6-7:30pm
  • Domestic Violence Support Group – Thursdays, 6-7:30pm
  • Men’s Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Support Group – Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm
  • Spanish-Speaking Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Support Group – Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm

To be connected with a group facilitator and receive a Zoom link and/or call-in number to join the next meeting please email:

Please provide the best way the facilitator can reach you in order to discuss the group and conduct a brief intake.

If you have further questions about groups our 24 hour HelpLine can be reached at 734-995-5444

April 24, 2020

During this pandemic, it is more important than ever to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. How can you help your friends and family members? Start by believing.

How do I support survivors of Domestic Violence?

How do I support survivors of Sexual Assault?

March 24, 2020

SafeHouse Center considers it our duty and thus is deeply committed to doing our part to follow Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives” order.  And as advocates working on the front lines of domestic violence and sexual assault, we are dedicated to continue providing essential services that are saving the lives of people experiencing violence in their homes. (Listen to my interview on WEMU.) COVID-19 has caused a health crisis of an unprecedented scale. 

SafeHouse Center has developed a modified plan to continue services to survivors.  We most want to highlight that our helpline and shelter services are fully operational.  Any survivor can call (734) 995-5444 for help and support 24 hours a day. Additionally, we are performing advocacy counseling services over the phone or by web/video conferencing instead of face to face meetings, to help protect staff and residents of our shelter. We are working with our legal system and courts to continue protective measures of assailant accountability and the ability to obtain Personal Protection Orders. Although we have our limits, we are working very hard to think of creative ways to help and support survivors during a time when they may need it the most.  Last week I wrote a piece on how home simply isn’t safe for everyone

We need your help.  In the short term, it has been difficult to obtain needed supplies such as cleansers, disinfectant, paper products and even gift cards which helps with needs we don’t even know about.  Because we are unable to accept walk-in donations at this time, we are asking community members to shop online and have items shipped directly to SafeHouse Center, 4100 Clark Rd., Ann Arbor, MI  48105. SafeHouse Center does have an Amazon Smile wishlist. If you have any questions, they can be directed to

As with many human service organizations across our community, we are watching communications from local, county and state officials, and working daily with our health department.  For families that are able, and looking for ways to help further, please visit our website.

We urge everyone to please stay home.  But if you or anyone you know needs help and support because of domestic violence and sexual assault, please call (734) 994-5444. 

Additional Resources

Washtenaw County is regularly updating this page of essential services and resources.

Bridge Magazine is also updating this page, which includes resources statewide and by region.

Barbara Niess-May, MPA, MSW
Executive Director
SafeHouse Center

March 13, 2020

Dear Community,

During this time of uncertainty around the spread of COVID-19, we want the public and most of all survivors to know that we are committed to providing shelter, services and programs with minimal disruptions.

SafeHouse Center is staying up-to-date with information from the Washtenaw County Health Department, State of Michigan and the Center for Disease Control. We will continue to take steps to best prioritize the needs of survivors while following the recommendations of public officials related to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

As a result of with careful consideration, here are the services and events that we will suspend until further notice:

  • All Support Group meetings
  • Teen Voice programming
  • Speaking engagements to community groups
  • Attending or staffing events or programs that include groups of 10 or more
  • Visits to SafeHouse Center for all in-kind donations (e.g., household or personal care items)
  • Volunteer training

As a reminder, our helpline is available 24/7 at (734) 995-5444.  As well, our shelter, counseling, legal advocacy and response teams are still in operation.

We want you to know that we are continuing our strict practice of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing throughout our facility and shelter.  As well, we are implementing social distancing practices wherever possible.

This is a rapidly changing situation and we will do our very best to keep our community notified regarding any changes to services and programming.  We will keep our website and social media updated with any changes to these plans.

We do expect that this will impact SafeHouse Center in ways we can only begin to enumerate.  If you wish to make a monetary donation our secure website is available, and you may also shop our wishlist on Amazon Smile or another online retailer and have packages shipped directly to the program.  Thank you.

If you have any questions please contact us. For questions about COVID-19 please visit the following support resources:

We will continue to monitor recommendations from our local, state and federal health departments.

Be Well.

Barbara Niess-May, MPA, MSW
Executive Director
SafeHouse Center