What is life like in the Beau Venturi Home emergency shelter?
Safe… comforting… life-transforming… but not easy. Similar to life in a college dorm, the emergency shelter features 13 individual bedrooms that can sleep up to 60 individuals (including cribs), four shared kitchens, two common living areas, a meditation room, teen room and children’s library. Curfews are maintained and no guests are permitted on the grounds to ensure the safety of residents, volunteers and staff. Take an online tour
Program participants are free to come and go – security at our state-of-the-art facility is designed to protect, not confine. Indoor and outdoor play areas allow children to relax and enjoy normal childhood activities. Enrichment programs help both children and adults learn life skills and provide opportunities to grow and socialize.
Bedrooms offer private baths, closets (no doors as a reminder this is not a permanent solution but a step on the path to peace) and trundle beds. Each bedroom doorway is painted a different color for individuality.
Individual families are always kept together in one bedroom. Two single adults may be housed together in one bedroom, depending on the number of residents in-shelter.
Kitchens are shared (also based on occupancy) and residents are responsible for selecting food from our pantry, cooking and cleaning up after themselves. They are also responsible for caring for their rooms, doing their own laundry, helping keep common areas clean and maintaining their work and/or school schedules. Many residents become fast-friends, sharing responsibilities and helping each other with chores and babysitting.
Our ‘special needs suite’ functions as an efficiency apartment for people with disabilities, women with older male children, single men, men with children or those with contagious illnesses.
When they arrive, often scared and tired, program participants are greeted by caring staff for ‘in-take’ and then move to their rooms where they are welcomed with a gift basket of basic necessities (adults), stuffed animals (children) and handmade quilts on their beds (items generously donated by caring individuals and organizations throughout the community).
Gracious local stylists donate their time and services in our BE Salon, providing free hair cuts and related services that help build confidence and self-esteem while saving the residents’ funds for a new home, car, school, etc.
When ready, program participants shop for the items needed to rebuild their lives free from violence using free gift vouchers to our thrift store.
Our empowerment-based philosophy means that adults are responsible for their children and pets; everyone must clean-up after themselves, make their own meals, do their own chores and go to school or jobs. All needs, from toiletries and laundry soap to bed linens, school uniforms and food, are provided free of charge. Residents are encouraged to save for their own transportation, apartment/home and additional schooling.
Bicycles are provided, when available, to assist residents in getting to and from work, running errands and getting around town. To donate/Host a Drive for food, clothing, household goods, cleaning products, bicycles, books, etc., please call 239.775.3862, ext. 235.