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 Winter 2024 Newsletter

An Update from our Executive Director

Dear Friend,

A new year can serve as a time of reflection of the past year, new goals, and perhaps an opportunity to reset and instill hope for a year full of positive experiences.

At SafeHouse Center our mission is centered in creating hope for survivors and support them as they navigate a path towards safety and healing. As I reflect on 2023, I am proud of the way in which staff have embodied our mission driven work, and I am grateful to you, our community, for your unwavering support.

For survivors, any day can seem challenging and bleak, and around certain holidays the isolation may feel heightened.

SafeHouse is here to break that isolation and remind survivors that they are not alone. Our 24hr HelpLine is one way in which survivors can feel connected to another person; we are here to listen, process and share resources 24hrs. Another way to break the isolation is by joining one of our many support groups.

SafeHouse Center Support Groups are facilitated by trained staff and led by survivor participation. Our groups offer a space in which survivors can come together, find unity and strength by listening, reflecting and sharing their experiences. We hope that each group creates a space of belonging for survivors to feel heard and believed. Currently all of our groups are being conducted virtually and signing up is easy and free. For more information about our groups and how to join, please click here.

We are grateful that with community support we are able to offer different ways in which survivors can feel supported and that together we can all help break the silence and the isolation.

Thank you for standing with us in 2023 and we look forward to furthering our partnership with you in 2024. Wishing you a very happy new year!


Christine Watson

Housing Program

SafeHouse Center (SHC) is excited to begin working with Survivors again in 2024 through our Transitional Supportive Housing (TSH) Program as a result of being awarded another three year Grant from the U. S. Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).  The purpose of the TSH Program is to provide temporary safe housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence (DV), Sexual Assault (SA), Dating Violence, and/or Stalking for up to 24 months and support them in gaining Economic Stability and Personal Goal Achievement.  SHC is happy to partner with Avalon Housing again over these next three years to provide TSH services. 

Legal Advocacy Program

The Legal Advocacy team continues to support survivors during the criminal court process. Advocates will assist survivors with writing out a victim impact statement, discuss a safety plan, help a survivor get signed up for vinelink and work with survivors to find other resources in the county.

Shelter & Children’s Program

Upcoming Support Groups:

“Why Does He Do That” Book Club for residents starting in February 2024, facilitated by Yun and Cheyanne (current Shelter intern)

DV Support Group for shelter residents starting back-up February 2024, facilitated by our incoming Shelter Interns.


We are currently taking submissions from residents and their children for a project we plan to submit to the Embracing Our Differences Art Exhibit; Our Children’s Program Intern is spearheading this project.

Gingerbread House making event took place Saturday 12/16 in the shelter kitchen.

Volunteer Highlight:

Our Children’s Program Intern and the children’s volunteers have been diligently working to keep the playroom open for the kiddos in shelter. We are currently open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Shelter volunteers have been working diligently with our Shelter Aid to ensure a clean and stocked house for shelter residents.

HelpLine Program

In the Helpline program we are currently fully staffed with 7 staff members and 18 volunteers. On the Helpline, staff and volunteers provide support to all callers by processing, safety planning, completing shelter screenings and referrals for crisis support advocacy, legal advocacy, support groups and much more. They also provide support and basic needs to shelter residents and their children. Staff and volunteers ensure that our phones are answered 24/7 and staff the shelter all times. The Helpline received 1,228 calls during the first Quarter.

DV Crisis Support and Advocacy Program

Domestic violence and intimate partner violence occurs worldwide. In the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are abused by a domestic partner—more than 10 million people annually.  You are not alone, domestic abuse can feel isolating and scary.  

Our support groups are here to help and offer assistance and healing. We also offer individual Crisis Support sessions to help survivors of domestic violence overcome the trauma of an abusive relationship.

We are here to help, if you are interested please reach out for more information at 

Response Team Program

The 24-hour Response Team program could not run without a dedicated team of volunteers; the program which started in the 1980s responds to Washtenaw County hospitals and receives calls from all police departments after an assault.

In our first quarter, RT responded to 361 calls. Behind each of those calls is a person answering a phone, taking down information from law enforcement, spending time listening to a survivor, and providing resources, or driving to the hospital to meet with a patient, at all hours. Volunteers and Staff take multiple shifts per month to help cover the RT calendar, the work can be rewarding yet exhausting at the same time. Since the pandemic we have trained a small number of volunteers, but the need for more is great. If you’re reading this, please consider attending our training in February, so RT can continue this important work.

RT also follow up on Jail Releases, and provide information on next court dates, bond information and safety planning to a listed victim. During our first quarter:

Jail release notifications: 256

Sexual Assault Services Program

In December the SAS team hosted a Support Group Informational Session where participants learned about the identity specific groups we have at Safehouse Center as well as how members can benefit from them.  Support Groups that were discussed were: The LGBTQIA+ Sexual Assault Support Group, The Black Women’s Sexual Assault Support Group, Grupo de Apoyo en Español – Esperanza y Empoderamiento, and The Men’s Sexual Assault Support Group.

Various community partners joined this session and we are appreciative of their support.

To learn more about or register for these groups please email:

Over the holidays we benefited from receiving items specifically for sexual assault survivors who have undergone a SANE exam and need to leave their undergarments at the hospital as evidence.  Having something to wear home can be very important and comforting to survivors of sexual assault.

Items in need – Undergarments, jogging suits, adult coloring books, fidgets.

SAS Volunteer highlight. 

Hana has been a support group volunteer since 2019. She started off co-facilitating the SA support group and persevered during our transition to Zoom-lead groups during the pandemic.  In 2022, Hana started co-facilitating and now runs our LGBTIQA+ support group.  Hana is a Master of Science in Information student and also a graduate student instructor for Perspectives in Women’s Health at the University of Michigan.

Thank you Hana for your continued volunteerism!

MNA Grant

The MI Nonprofit Relief Fund awarded one-time grant funds ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to nonprofits in areas most affected by COVID-19, especially in those underserved and underrepresented communities. Nonprofits in rural areas and those led by, and serving, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Volunteers Needed

For those who are interested in volunteering with us, our Winter 2024 CORE training for volunteers will be held February 8, 9, 10, 11.  We are in need of volunteers for the following programs:  

  • Response Team Program
  • 24 Hour Helpline Program
  • Shelter & Children’s Program

If you are interested in volunteering to help in any of these programs please see our website for more information.

    Jelly Bean Jump Up!

    Between February 1st – 29th, 2024, help honor a great dog while supporting SafeHouse Center and survivors in our community. Jelly Bean was the beloved corgi companion of Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig, and during their 17 years together, they jogged past SafeHouse Center daily. Her loving personality modeled the kind of positive belief, hope, and generosity that SafeHouse Center is all about.

    “Jelly Bean Jump Up” runs through February with a couple special events in March. Look out for more information on our website.

    Join us at the 2024 Fresh Start Breakfast!

    The Fresh Start Breakfast is an initiative launched by Safehouse Center (SHC) to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. It serves as a fundraiser to generate vital resources that enable SHC to continue providing essential services to survivors such as emergency temporary shelter, crisis support, legal support, and educational programs.

    The event also raises public awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault while debunking the stigma surrounding these issues. Through impactful speeches, survivor testimonials, and engaging activities, attendees gain a deeper understanding of the challenges survivors face and the importance of a supportive environment in their healing journey. 

    We are currently looking for Sponsors and will release tickets at a later date. Please join us in giving survivors a Fresh Start!

    Date: April 10, 2024

    Time: 8:00 AM

    Location: Washtenaw Golf Club

    Sponsor >

    The 9th Annual Purple Run was a Success!

    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 stood up for survivors and participated in the Purple Run or sponsored. For information about sponsoring next year’s Purple Run, please reach out to

    2023 Sponsors >

    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 – 4:00PM or mailed to: 4100 Clark Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

    Full Wishlist >

    Thank you to our donors and volunteers for your continued support! Your contributions allow us to continue to offer free and confidential services to survivors.