RESPOND provides emergency shelter and a range of support services and educational programs to thousands of survivors of domestic violence each year including adults, children, and teens regardless of gender, race, religion, age, or other characteristics. RESPOND staff work with survivors of domestic violence to address their immediate and long-term needs, providing emotional support, counseling, financial resources, information, and referrals. Through RESPOND’s programs, individuals and families in crisis develop the concrete tools necessary to regain control of their own lives – from parenting skills and housing search to financial literacy, and the hands-on experience of advocating for themselves. Services are free, confidential, and currently offered in multiple languages.
RESPOND’s Supportive Services are available to all victims and survivors of domestic violence. They include:
- Support Line provides emotional support, safety planning, resource referrals, and information on legal options, statewide shelter availability, and community resources
- Individual counseling and support groups, which help survivors define and meet their goals regarding safety, housing, employment, health care, housing issues, custody, and education
- Housing assistance program to address the unique needs of survivors and fill the gap left by anti-homelessness agencies
- Basic Assistance that helps program participants to access necessities
- Legal Support: court accompaniment, assistance accessing legal aid services, and help with diverse legal issues including restraining orders, child custody, and immigration
- Survivors of Abuse Feeling Empowered for Re-Entry (SAFER) Program designed to provide support and resources to detainees and inmates in the Suffolk County House of Corrections
- Children’s Services that help parents to meet their children’s needs
- Outreach and Education Activities through which RESPOND addresses the root causes of domestic violence
- Civilian Certified Domestic Violence Counselors embedded in six Police Departments: Malden, Melrose, Wakefield, Reading, Woburn, and Wilmington PD
RESPOND’s emergency shelter location is kept confidential to ensure the safety of program participants. Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. RESPOND’s shelter is wheelchair accessible, and ADA approved. Its spacious Children’s Learning Center offers a safe, colorful play space and programs that promote learning, encourage parental involvement, and connect children and teens to local in- and out-of-school enrichment activities. The average length of stay for residents is 4 months. RESPOND is proud to accept women and men (or any gender identity) into shelter as well as parents with teenage boys – a rarity in Massachusetts.