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Shelter Story

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Mission, Vision & History


Leading the community to prevent, protect and prevail over domestic violence through advocacy, empowerment and social change.


Our vision is a community free from domestic violence so that every home is a safe haven for the family it shelters.


Our Story

The Shelter began in May 1986 when the Spouse & Abuse Task Force, operating under the Hotline & Rape Crisis Program of Collier County, organized a meeting of volunteers to plan a domestic violence shelter.


Despite community opposition, in 1988 The Shelter began converting an East Naples four-plex into a shelter. mom_kids Over the years, The Shelter's programs and services continued to expand both in number and scope.


In 1991, Options Thrift Shoppe opened. During the next three years, administrative offices moved and a part-time Children's Advocate was hired, representing the first time targeted services were available to children of victims.


By 2000, the Immokalee program had been named a national model serving immigrant and migrant battered women; the Board had approved long-range plans to build a new shelter; the search for sites began and the first "Hands Are for Helping" events took place in county parks.


Throughout the early 2000s, programs, services and fundraising efforts continued to expand proactively. In September 2002, administration and counseling services moved into the new facility with residents relocating to the new Beau Venturi Home, our 60-bed residential shelter, that October.


The years following have brought an additional expansion of programs in Naples, Bonita Springs and Immokalee, including the development of new programs and the completion of four Transitional Living Cottages in 2008.


Today, some 56 full and part-time staff members provide services in Naples, Immokalee and Bonita Springs through residential and outreach services, as well as Options Thrift Shoppe.