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About Us

Our Mission & History
Young child kissing her mother

SafeHouse Denver was born out of the community’s desperate need for an emergency shelter for women and children living with domestic violence.

Community professionals were working with large numbers of women on a variety of issues, and it was found that the underlying problem was actually domestic violence. However, there was no safe place for these women to go to escape the violence in their own homes. There was also no language with which to truly articulate their experiences.

Our Mission

SafeHouse Denver assists adults, children and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free from domestic violence.

Milestones
Original SafeHouse Denver Logo

1977

The agency was established as SafeHouse for Battered Women.

1978

Our first shelter opened.

1985

SafeHouse Denver expanded its community support program by providing counseling services to local women, children and youth. Over 1,100 women and children were served during the first year of our Outreach Program’s operation.

1989

The Emergency Shelter moved to its current location, doubling the bed capacity.

1991

The shelter mortgage was retired after a successful capital campaign.

1994

The organization changed its name to SafeHouse Denver.

1998

The Counseling & Advocacy Center opened at 1649 Downing Street, furthering our ability to provide non-residential counseling and support services to abused women and their children.

2000

SafeHouse Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver collaborated to start the Women’s Entrepreneurial Training Program. This program taught women the skills to start their own businesses, not only helping to build practical job training but also providing invaluable self-confidence for program participants.

2005

Denver Triage Project brought SafeHouse Denver together with law enforcement, the Denver District and City Attorney’s offices, Project Safeguard, the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and AMEND to improve outreach and justice processes.

2007

SafeHouse Denver worked with focus groups to create messaging and promotional materials specific for youth, the Black community and the LGBTQ community.

2010

SafeHouse Denver officially started serving male survivors of domestic violence at the Counseling & Advocacy Center.

2011

SafeHouse Denver answered a record 18,793 crisis line calls this year – an increase of nearly 75 percent since 2008, the beginning of the economic downturn.

2012

SafeHouse Denver celebrated 35 years of life-saving services for survivors of domestic violence. The agency launched a 35th Anniversary Fund to raise seed money for an Extended Stay facility for shelter residents in need of more time to secure housing and employment. This fund was matched by The Pioneer Fund dollar-for-dollar up to $35,000.

Vice President Joe Bide with Victoria McVicker

Former Vice President Joe Biden at SafeHouse Denver's Administrative Offices with CEO Victoria McVicker

2014

SafeHouse Denver had the distinct honor of hosting President Joe Biden (Vice President at the time) for a roundtable discussion on domestic violence. The invitation – extended by Mayor Michael Hancock –  came on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which changed the way our country responds to domestic violence and sexual assault.

2016

The Rose Andom Center, Colorado's first family justice center to serve victims of domestic violence, officially opened its doors. In addition to our existing programs and services, SafeHouse Denver has a Rose Andom advocate on-site full-time to assist survivors seeking additional services.

2017

SafeHouse Denver celebrated 40 years of service to the community and reported cumulative statistics since its founding.

  • More than 333,000 nights of safe shelter provided
  • More than 41,000 adults, children and youth served at our Emergency Shelter and Counseling & Advocacy Center
  • More than 405,600 calls answered by our 24-Hour Crisis & Information Line
  • More than 62,250 hours logged by our volunteers

At the end of this milestone anniversary year, SafeHouse Denver successfully reached a $1.2 million capital goal to purchase a six-unit apartment building and build an operating reserve for its new Extended Stay Program.

2018

The opening of the Extended Stay Program became the final step in SafeHouse Denver's continuum of care for survivors of domestic violence. This facility offers qualifying Shelter residents up to three months of secure housing, providing them with valuable time to secure permanent housing, employment, child care and other resources to achieve stability.

The Importance of SafeHouse Denver

SafeHouse Denver was one of the first domestic violence shelters in the nation and played an essential role in the community’s efforts to build systemic support for survivors. This is a role SafeHouse continues to play today.

The first step was to bring the issue into public consciousness. In doing so, society has come to acknowledge the problem’s existence and to develop the language, dialogue and services with which to address it. Although we are sometimes frustrated that greater progress has not been made, it is important to remember that as recently as 1964, U.S. courts were still ruling that states should not interfere in cases of domestic “chastisement” but should leave the parties to themselves to make up.

SafeHouse Denver is the only agency in the city and county of Denver providing both emergency shelter and non-residential counseling and advocacy services while exclusively serving adults, children and youth who are survivors of domestic violence. We target our programs to meet community needs; as a result, we have made it mandatory that certain staff are bilingual in direct response to the large number of monolingual Spanish-speaking adults and children who access our services each year.

Despite the growth in our programs, there continues to be a pressing need for domestic violence services. On average, we refer more than 3,500 requests for safe shelter to other resources because our shelter facility is completely full. The lack of affordable housing, child care and mental health services continue to be barriers to our clients’ capacity to move forward to self-sufficiency in a timely manner.

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