AWAIC maintains a shelter where victims of domestic violence and their children may seek help any time they are in danger. Located near the corner of 13th and A, it accommodates 52 people. Domestic violence victims may stay up to one month while they make decisions about what they will do next.
The AWAIC shelter program is co-located with AWAIC’s administrative and auxiliary program offices in downtown Anchorage. The 52-bed shelter is organized in 13 bedrooms, with one bathroom for every two bedrooms. The building is accessible to accommodate victims with disabilities. Common areas include two living rooms, a teen center, a children's playroom and playground, a commercial kitchen, and dining and laundry rooms. Shelter residents have access to private meeting spaces as well as large group conference rooms. All areas are secured and monitored 24 hours a day by cameras placed strategically throughout to ensure resident and staff safety.
Residents can access services and shelter 24-hours per day. Our primary contact with those in need often comes through the 24-hour crisis line which is answered by trained advocates and case managers. Individuals may also walk in for services 24 hours a day. A referral from a service provider is not required, however, individuals often find out about AWAIC services from an extensive network of partner agencies as well as from local hospitals and medical providers, the Anchorage Police Department, the Alaska Court System, Alaska 211 and from concerned friends and family.
AWAIC staff can respond directly to hospitals to assist injured victims with shelter entry and may also provide transportation from various locations to facilitate screening into the shelter or access to other services.
Residents are offered assistance with accessing medical services as needed prior to shelter entry. Services are offered on a voluntary basis in an effort to honor the autonomy of the survivors being served.
Shelter residents have the option of working with a team of trained staff members, including a case manager, an advocate, and a children's advocate during their shelter stay. These staff members provide individual and group support to both adults and children. Children receive support through groups, supervised community outings, and personalized attention from staff. Children are referred to services relevant to healing from abuse they may have experienced or witnessed and parents are offered support with positive discipline and parenting. The team of staff members works closely with residents on developing a safety plan and setting goals relative to meeting needs, staying safe from abuse, and achieving their own goals. The shelter provides space and support to help individuals begin the process of healing from trauma.
AWAIC opened its doors in 1977 with the core purpose of providing emergency safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. AWAIC’s first shelter was located in a home with limited bed space and security. In FY19 we were at or over capacity for 102 days, had an average daily population of 50 and provided services to 408 adults and 223 children at imminent risk for a total of 22,109 shelter safe nights with an average 30-day length of stay.