Your questions, answered.
What is the Safe Shelter Collaborative?
The Safe Shelter Collaborative is a group of nonprofits, funders, corporations, government agencies, and individual donors who have banded together to ensure that more urgently-needed shelter is available to a greater diversity and number of survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. Membership in the program includes access to technology to locate shelter and pay for alternatives, and access to training that builds organizational capacity to serve survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
What kind of organizations can join?
501(c)(3) public charities, tribal entities, or governmental agencies that provide sheltering services to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, or sexual assault may join the Safe Shelter Collaborative.
I'm interested. How does my organization join?
Please complete and sign the online application. It should take no more than five to ten minutes to complete, and once you submit it, you'll hear from our team via email within two to five business days.
How much does membership cost?
The Safe Shelter Collaborative is free for member agencies. For more information about Safe Shelter Collaborative funders and partners, please visit our Backers and Collaborators area.
How does my organization find shelter using the Safe Shelter Collaborative?
If your organization provides shelter or shelter referral services, you can use the program to find shelter for your clients. A staff member responsible for placing survivors can log in to the Safe Shelter Collaborative and send a shelter request to other member agencies in the region. This shelter request includes enough non-identifying case information--10 items--so the receiving agencies can respond with an indication of whether they might have an appropriate shelter bed available. The entire process takes minutes, and agencies currently respond within 5 minutes to shelter requests they receive.
What happens when there isn't shelter for my client?
When shelter space is not available and an agency has protocols in place to use hotels as emergency alternative housing (and that option is appropriate for the survivor), the agency can send an alert to individual donors via the SafeNight mobile app to pay for a hotel stay. When your supporters download SafeNight and select your agency to support, they are ready to receive a notification when your agency needs help. With a few swipes on their mobile phone, supporters can make a tax-deductible donation to your agency in the amount of the hotel stay. Agencies that use the SafeNight app report reduced staff stress (because they know they have options) and the ability to serve a broader population they don't normally shelter. For more information, visit www.SafeNightapp.org.
My organization is interested in finding shelter, but we're the only shelter in our region that has signed up to use the Safe Shelter Collaborative. How many agencies need to be signed up in my region to locate shelter?
We've learned from our members that a baseline of seven agencies is enough to form a regional collaborative of agencies.
My organization only provides referrals to shelter for clients. Can we join?
Yes. Your organization can use the Safe Shelter Collaborative to send requests to locate shelter for your clients or to fund hotel or motel stays if your organization uses hotels for emergency shelter.
What constitutes a "region" in a regional collaborative?
This is a great question, one that we continue to learn more about. When an agency is using the Safe Shelter Collaborative to find shelter, they send a request out to a regional collaborative of agencies, which is a group--more than seven--of agencies providing sheltering services to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. In some cases, that region may be outside of where your organization normally operates, like across county lines, for example. We listen to agencies' needs in a particular region and define membership based on what makes sense for the member agencies. We've learned that stretching regional borders can open up new opportunities and collaborations for finding shelter. If you have ideas about your region, please get in touch with us.
My agency is the only organization in my local region providing sheltering services to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. Can we participate in the Safe Shelter Collaborative?
Yes. Perhaps your region might be expanded geographically to include more shelter options. This might mean forming a collaborative in your region or perhaps joining a nearby collaborative. In addition, if your agency uses hotels or motels for emergency shelter, you can use the Safe Shelter Collaborative to alert supporters to pay for hotel stays. Read more about how the SafeNight mobile app works.
Our organization does not currently support survivors of human trafficking, but we are interested in adding that expertise to our staff. Can the Safe Shelter Collaborative help us?
Yes. Periodically, the Safe Shelter Collaborative provides no cost training opportunities on providing services for this survivor population. Please complete the application, use the Safe Shelter Collaborative for your sheltering needs, and take advantage of our training opportunities.
What is your policy on survivor privacy?
We collect a small amount of demographic information about the survivor, such as age range, gender, and necessary physical accommodations. We never collect any identifying inforrmation, such as names, locations, or specifics of the survivor’s situation. Also, organizations that join the Safe Shelter Collaborative sign an agreement specifying that they will hold to the privacy standards of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (“VAWA”) and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (“FVPSA”). Individual donors using the SafeNight mobile app will only know that an organization has asked for help paying for a hotel room. They will not be given any identifying information about the survivor in need.
I have more questions. What is the best way to reach someone?
We're happy to chat! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Support@SafeShelterCollaborative.org.