Home Free – Frequently Asked Questions

” By the most conservative estimate, each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate.” 1995, Bureau of Justice Statistics

How many women stay at Home Free? Additional Info
The shelter’s capacity is 30 women and children. Each year we provide shelter to more than 600 women and children and respond to nearly 2000 phone calls for information and support.

How long do women stay at Home Free? Additional Info
The shelter provides short-term emergency housing with the average stay around 14-17 days. Some women stay up to 6 weeks and others may decide to stay only a day or two. We are always full and end up turning away about 60% of our calls for space.

How do women hear about Home Free?
A lot of ways; Police, family, friends, church, co-workers, other agencies, phone book, saw a brochure etc. Word of mouth is how a lot of women hear about us.

What should I do if I know someone in an abusive situation? Additional Info
The most important thing to do is to be supportive. Many women have been isolated by the abuser and do not have many people to talk to. Remember that she may not be ready to leave the situation, it has to be her choice. Simply let her know that she can talk to you and that you know where she can get help when she is ready. Our crisis line # is (763) 559-4945.

How much does it cost for families to use Home Free services?
All Home Free services are free of charge.

Where do the kids go to school while at the shelter?
The children at Home Free can attend the local schools. If it is safe some might continue at their old school.

What do women do while they stay at the shelter?
Women do a variety of things including attending court dates if needed, look for housing, go to work, or look for work, attend support groups, heal from injuries, etc.

What happens to women when the shelter is full?
We are networked with all the shelters in the state to see who has openings. If we cannot find space for her we might try and brainstorm with her to see if she can think of any family or friends she might be able to stay with until we have openings.

What cities do Home Free Community Programs serve? Additional Info
Plymouth, New Hope, Golden Valley, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Rogers, Hassan, Greenfield, Osseo, Hanover, Maple Plain, Medina, Loretto, Medicine Lake, and Independence

What does a community advocate do? Additional Info
Community Advocates provide legal advocacy to women in both civil and criminal courts. They help women with Orders for Protection(restraining orders) and help them through the criminal court process. They work to coordinate and support the efforts of the criminal justice, law enforcement, medical and mental health providers to maximize the safety of battered women and to change the behavior of assailants.

How many women do we work with in the community programs a year? Additional Info
Each year we work with over 1200 women in our 16 cities.

How is Home Free funded?
Home Free funding sources are:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs
Hennepin County
Cities of Plymouth, New Hope, Golden Valley, Brooklyn Park and Corcoran
Greater Twin Cities United Way
The generous donations of individuals, civic groups, churches, corporations and foundations

Who is the staff?
Home Free has approximately 21 full-time, part-time and relief staff positions. These positions include women’s advocates, children’s advocates, community advocates, community programs coordinator, community outreach coordinator, shelter coordinator, funding and development manager, and a director.

How many volunteers does Home Free have? Additional Info
We have about 20-25 core volunteers and over 100 group and special project volunteers. They contribute over 3,000 hours each year.

How do I become a volunteer? Additional Info
Call the volunteer coordinator (763) 559-9008 – Volunteer Opportunities

How can I help? Additional Info
You can volunteer, make a donation, organize a group project.