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I'm interested in opening a shelter for abused women/children. Are they government funded and could I operate one from my home? Annie

I think it's great that you want to open a shelter for abused women and children. Certainly, there is a need for such a place. I think the best first step is to contact others who have opened a shelter, such as Women in Need, which is based in New York City. It was founded by a wonderful woman named Rita Zimmer and it now has a few locations throughout New York City. She can tell you how to go about finding a space, what professional assistance you might need, etc... You will need to fundraise for this effort. Funding sources are varied--for instances, you can raise money directly from individuals, you can write foundation proposals and be supported by foundations and you can also get money from the government--city, state, and federal. Most organizations I know of have to do a combination of all of the above to keep afloat.

You might want to look to collaborate with an already existing organization in your community--such as a YWCA or a church or women's center. You then could save some overhead by linking up. Depending on what you discover, you may need to apply to become a not-for-profit organization. This will most likely require an attorney to help and it will also be required to help make your fundraising easier. If you look through Feminist.com's Network of Women's Services, you might find a shelter near you. I suggest starting by calling them.

I hope this information helps you to help others.


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