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.
Violence can affect anyone. SAAFE House provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and support services empowering survivors to seek new beginnings and rebuild lives free from the effects of violence. We provide services to all victims of family and sexual violence and assist clients in healing with former and current victimizations alike. If you are a victim, remember that domestic violence and sexual assault are not your fault, and you don’t have to be alone as you find your way past the trauma!
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt
SAAFE House is committed to empowering victims of family violence and sexual assault by providing individualized immediate, no-cost, and confidential services. Our goal is to prevent family violence and sexual assault by educating our community.
The SAAFE House logo balances the agency's goals, 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 in family violence and sexual assault programs. The logo reflects that dedication and helps strengthen our voice in the community and throughout Texas.
SAAFE House believes in women's self-determination 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 served best by volunteers and staff educated and dedicated to an abuse-free environment.
We believe that sharing information, networking, working collectively, and honest communication with law enforcement, criminal justice, and other social service organizations will help change our societal attitudes about and responses to violence.
We believe that abusive individuals are both morally and legally accountable for their actions.
HELPING FAMILIES FOR OVER 35 YEARS!
SAAFE House was initially organized as the Walker County Family Violence Council to provide services for residential (emergency shelter) or outreach (non-residential) victims of family violence. The program began providing these basic services in October 1984 through the Good Shepherd Mission. The WCFVC was awarded a state grant in September 1985, when the first Executive Director, Cindy Ximenes, was hired in October 1985.
The council began using local hotels and the local mission for emergency shelter services. Later, other services such as legal advocacy, police assistance, child care, emergency assistance, medical care, counseling, referrals to appropriate social service agencies, and provisions to assist victims in obtaining secure and independent lifestyles. In April 1986, office space and a shelter facility were donated by business members of the Huntsville community, allowing 27 shelter clients, 33 non-shelter clients, and 141 Crisis Line calls to receive assistance from our agency. In 1988 a sexual assault program was added to the list of available services. To more accurately reflect the expanded services available to the community, 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 initially; there are now more than 150 volunteers who participate throughout the year. As our client's needs continue to grow and the demand for our services becomes increasingly evident, the 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 again rallied support for SAAFE House, and office space was donated, allowing for further expansion of services in Polk County. In 1994, renovations began with the donation of a house; along with other community efforts, our second shelter soon became a reality.
Our Polk County office is located in Livingston, Texas, and has room for donations for client needs and space for individual and group services.
In 2006, SAAFE House saw the need and established an office in Trinity County. In the winter of 2017, the Trinity office was moved to Mickey's House, a building dedicated to allowing the non-profit groups of Trinity to have free office space and places to meet. One full-time staff member occupies our Trinity office, but all resources of the agency are completely available to clients in that area.
The Walker County office, located in Huntsville, Texas moved to the current location, a former church, which doubled the space available for client services. Our resale shop, Elite Repeat, made its debut in May 2004 on the Huntsville Courthouse Square but eventually moved in next door to the SAAFE House office, on the corner of Sam Houston Ave. & 15th Street, 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 the resale shop are used to offset the cost of operations that grant funds do not cover.