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Step II shelter in Summit County, provides 48 beds to motivated victims who continue to strive towards self-sufficiency after residing at Crisis Center. This secure, confidential, twelve unit apartment building, allows women and their children to feel one step closer to living independently in the community. Although the shelter is in an apartment building, our 24-hour, on-site staff, consistently interact with the residents throughout the day. Residents are encouraged to sign releases of information, allowing staff to coordinate wrap-around services within the community. At times, services providers may come to the shelter to meet with clients on an as-needed basis.
Families may be provided with their own apartment which enhances privacy and independence. The furnished apartments have a kitchen, bath, living room, and between 1 and 3 bedrooms. Due to the amount of motivated women, some families and individuals share an apartment. When placing two families together, ages and sexes of children are taken into consideration for privacy concerns.
Most residents are working towards a permanent life away from the abuser. This transitional shelter allows the residents much more time to continue achieving previous goals and to make new ones! During weekly case management sessions, women develop a self-made plan focusing on areas of their choosing; such as safety, housing, and employment. The Resource Room at Step II also provides adults with a quiet place to go, obtain referrals, utilize a computer, and make business phone calls.
Our full-time Youth Advocate provides ongoing support to families; ensuring children's lives are minimally disrupted while in shelter. Most children can remain in their school of origin and be transported by the public school bus. Children can also choose to engage in individual tutoring programs, counseling, group field trips, weekly physical fitness activities, and more!
The Youth Advocate uses a nationally recognized program titled: 40 Developmental Assets, allowing children to learn about healthy lifestyles in everyday activities. Domestic violence, safety, and confidentially, are also stressed with each child, helping them understand why they are in shelter and why friends and extended family are not able to visit. Children whose mothers are in the process of regaining custody are also permitted to visit and take part in the above mentioned activities.
The Battered Women's Shelter understands the difficulties and struggles women must go through to regain their independence. Because of this, Step II shelter does not have a limit on the length of time it takes a woman to transition into the community (as long as she is in need of protective shelter and is abiding by the shelter policies.) The majority of women tend to utilize shelter services for approximately four months and at times, due to safety concerns, residents have stayed up to a year. For those interested in continued support for achieving long term goals, requests to enter the Step III residential program can be made to their case manager.