Each year, over 500 women and children are admitted to the Shelter for Battered Women. More than 1,000 are turned away.

This can create life and death situations, since without a place to stay, many victims must return to their batterers. Those fortunate enough to be admitted to the existing shelter are limited to a 30-day stay. Given its limited capacity, the current shelter provides little more than a band-aid for the problem of domestic violence.

United Family Services, a 100-year-old family counseling and crisis intervention umbrella agency, established Charlotte's Shelter for Battered Women in 1979. It had 25 beds for women and children victims of domestic violence. Since then, Charlotte's population has doubled, yet the shelter has added only four beds.


The new shelter will be located on a five-acre site in West Charlotte, convenient to public transportation and other support services. It will offer 80 beds and will provide triage services in addition to longer-term care.

This increase in beds will allow the shelter to offer a longer stay up to six months or a year. Victims will have a more stable environment, which will enable them to access much-needed safety and self-sufficiency services. In addition to emergency and transitional accommodations, the new shelter will provide the space to offer expanded educational and counseling services for both adults and children, as well as increased job training services. The new facility will allow partnering community agencies space to provide their legal, healthcare, financial planning and other services on site. These comprehensive services will provide real change, helping victims become survivors.
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73% of domestic violence assaults go unreported
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United Family Service (UFS) is a not-for-profit, family service organization based in Charlotte, NC, with offices in Charlotte, Concord, Cornelius and Monroe, NC. We are members of United Way of Central Carolinas, Inc. and are accredited by the Council on Accreditation. For information about United Family Services and any of its programs, please contact us at 704.332.9034 or via e-mail.

In 1979 United Family Services opened The Shelter for Battered Women to provide residential and non-residential domestic violence services to women and children. The Shelter is part of the agency's comprehensive Victim Services area that helped over 8,000 victims last year through a variety of services, including obtaining protective orders, safe shelter, and individual counseling and support groups for adults and children.

The CMPD answered over 30,000 domestic violence calls last year. Since 2002, an average of eight homicides per year have been attributed to domestic violence and the number is increasing. The current Shelter turns away over 1000 women and children each year due to lack of capacity. These victims are referred to homeless shelters, motels, or homes of friends and family. None of these options provide the appropriate security and support services.

With our current 29-bed capacity and maximum 30-day stay we offer temporary rescue but not enough time to heal physically, much less to look for a new home, find a job, or arrange for child care. With our current facility we can do little to break the cycle of domestic violence.

United Family Services has initiated a capital campaign to build a new domestic violence facility. Fundraising began in 2009 with the board and staff pledging over $265,000. To date we've raised over $8.3 million toward the $10.6 million goal which will include approximately $8.6 million for land acquisition and construction and $2 million to assist with operations during the initial years of operation. The campaign is co-chaired by Crandall Bowles and Jennifer Roberts.

The new facility will provide emergency and transitional housing for stays of up to one year versus the current 30-day maximum stay and will offer a range of supportive services aimed at increasing the safety and self sufficiency of victims of domestic violence. These include trauma and sexual assault counseling, health care, education and job training, legal advocacy, child care, consumer credit counseling, transportation and housing assistance.

We began construction in late 2011 and will open the facility in 2012.

Several years ago the Charlotte Rescue Mission (CRM) purchased 11 acres in West Charlotte
to build a new facility for serving women with chemical addictions. The Rescue Mission sold half its acreage to United Family Services at cost for the new domestic violence facility. Additionally the two organizations are working together to complete site work. Through this partnership UFS is saving nearly $1 million on budgeted costs for land acquisition and development. The compelling collaboration not only benefits each agency and clients but also represents a significantly higher return on the investment of public and private dollars.

Major campaign gifts have been awarded by
the City of Charlotte Housing Trust Fund, the Merancas Foundation, the Croydon Foundation, the Federal Home Loan Bank, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Levine Foundation, NC Housing Finance Agency, Bank of America and the Belk Foundation. Other corporate and foundation supporters include Duke Energy, GMAC, AT&T, NCFI, Coca Cola, ARA, the Dowd Foundation and the Dickson Foundation.

We fully realize the challenge of raising $10.6 million in this economic environment. We also fully realize what failure to build the new domestic violence facility would mean for the thousands of women and children who come to us each year seeking escape from the nightmare of domestic violence.
With your support we will offer life-saving haven and life-changing hope to thousands of Charlotte's most vulnerable citizens. On their behalf we thank you!
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