Saafe House is more than a shelter or a crisis intervention agency. We are an advocate for the family. It isn’t enough to offer an urgent safe-haven during a time of need. Our goal is to come alongside women, men, and children in the community with resources to help them get back on their feet and live abuse free lives.
SAAFE House is committed to empowering victims of family violence and sexual assault by providing individualized immediate, free, and confidential services. Our goal is to prevent family violence and sexual assault by educating our community.
SAAFE HOUSE believes in the self-determination of women and the right of all persons to live without fear, abuse, or oppression.
We believe services should be available to battered persons and sexual assault survivors without regard to sex, race, national origin, age, physical handicap, religion, or sexual orientation.
We believe these persons are best served by volunteers and staff who are educated and/or dedicated to an abuse-free environment.
We believe that the sharing of information, networking, working collectively, and ethical communication with law enforcement, criminal justice, and other social service organizations will help change our societal attitudes about, and responses to, violence against both women and men.
We believe that abusive individuals are both morally and legally accountable for their actions.
The SAAFE House logo balances the goals of the agency, putting the heart and the home on equal footing. We have taken the shape of the house and deconstructed it, building it back up, much like you would fold a piece of paper. Each fold represents another layer in the process of healing. By flipping the house you create the heart, completing the icon and showing the focus of "building stronger families." The modern and clean look of the logo gives SAAFE House an identity that is iconic and professional. SAAFE House is a leader amongst family violence and sexual assault programs. The logo reflects that dedication, and helps strengthen our voice in the community and throughout Texas.
We've been Helping Families for over 30 Years!
SAAFE House was originally organized as the Walker County Family Violence Council. The stated purpose of Walker County Family Violence Counsel was to provide services for residential (shelter) or non-residential victims of family violence. The program began providing basic services in October 1984 through the Good Shepherd Mission. The WCFVC was awarded a state grant in September 1985. The first Executive Director, Cindy Ximenes was hired in October 1985. Using local hotels and the local mission for emergency shelter, the council began providing other services such as legal advocacy, police assistance, child care, emergency and medical care, counseling, provisions to assist victims in obtaining secure and independent lifestyles, and referrals to appropriate social service agencies.
In April 1986, an office space and a shelter facility were donated by business members of the Huntsville community. In its first year of operation, SAAFE House served 27 shelter clients, 33 non-shelter clients, and staff members took 141 Crisis Line calls.
In 1988 a sexual assault program was added to the list of available services. In order to reflect the expanded services the organization’s name was changed the following year to SAAFE House, which stands for "Sexual Assault and Abuse Free Environment".
The successful growth of SAAFE House is due to hundreds of volunteer hours. The organization had only ten regular volunteers in the beginning; there are now more than 150 volunteers who participate throughout the year. As our client’s needs continue to grow and the need for services becomes more evident, our need for volunteers also becomes more pressing.
In 1992, we expanded services to reach victims in Polk County. Community members began organizing, and in the lower region of the courthouse building a Polk County office started providing services one afternoon a week. Over time the community once again rallied support for this organization and office space was donated, allowing for expansion of services in Polk County. In 1994, with the donation of a house, renovations began and a shelter was opened through community efforts. Our Polk County office has grown and presently resides in the County Annex building, where it has room for donations for client needs and space for individual and group services. In the Summer & Fall of 2013 the shelter in Livingston underwent many renovations.
In 2006, we also saw the need and established an office in Trinity. In the winter of 2017, our Trinity office was moved to Mickey's House, a building dedicated to allow the non-profit groups of Trinity to have free office space and places to meet. Our Trinity office is occupied by one full-time staff member, but all resources of the agency are completely available to clients in that area.
In summer of 2006, the Huntsville SAAFE House moved into the current location, a former church, which doubled the space available for client services. Elite Repeat Resale Shop made its debut in May 2004 on the Huntsville Courthouse Square, but moved into the SAAFE House office on the corner of Sam Houston & 15th when expansion was necessary. Clients come into the shop for free clothing and other necessities. Elite Repeat is essential to SAAFE House as funds raised through Elite Repeat are used to offset the cost of operations that are not covered by grant funds.
Today, SAAFE House has 2 shelters and 4 outreach locations. In Walker and Polk counties, the offices are open five days a week to provide a full range of services. The Trinity County office is open four days a week, and services in San Jacinto County are provided on an as-needed basis.
SAAFE House is fully engaged in helping build stronger families in our community. In the last annual report, SAAFE HOUSE served a total of 395 women and children in outreach services and 171 clients resided in our shelters. Clients in our shelters average about 35 nights of stay, and collectively amount to 5887 shelter nights, but their stays can actually be only one day or a number of months. In serving our 395 outreach clients our staff logged about 2792 days of client service.