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Our Shelter

Our Shelter 

Leaving an abusive environment can be dangerous. Survivors needing to flee an unsafe situation are aided by our shelter advocates in navigating this process and, when available, are welcomed into our safe house program. Supporting survivors is our main priority; when an individual or family arrives at our shelter, they have a safe place to stay while receiving on-site support to resolve immediate crises, health concerns, and economic concerns while improving their overall well-being. Many families arrive tired, hungry, hurt, and traumatized with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. The River Valley Shelter provides food, clothing, linens, and hygiene items at no cost. 

Our shelter is confidential and open to anyone, regardless of gender identity. If you or someone you know needs shelter, please call our hotline. Our hotline is completely confidential and available 24/7, 365 days a year. You can contact our hotline at


The River Valley Shelter Safe House 

The River Valley Shelter Safe House is in an undisclosed location in Russellville, Arkansas, to provide greater security for its residents. It has a comprehensive security system and measures to provide a safe refuge for individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. 

Our safe house's setting promotes healing and change. Trained staff are on-site 24 hours daily to provide directions, support, and resources for each individual's needs. The house offers a warm, home-style living setting. Bedrooms are assigned and include all bedding and pillows. Guests share a living room, full kitchen, bathroom spaces, laundry room, back deck,  and our backyard (equipped with a playground!). 

Food, clothing, and toys will be immediately available to those fleeing. The River Valley Shelter is offered free of charge. 

How do I get into the Shelter?

Every survivor who calls our confidential, 24-hour hotline is asked to undergo screening before entering the shelter. Screenings ensure that the individual's needs match our mission and guiding principles. Individuals needing other types of shelter or services are assisted with referrals. 

Who Can Stay at the Shelter? 

If you have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, you and your children may be eligible to stay at the shelter. It is the mission of The River Valley Shelter to provide physical, mental, legal, spiritual, and financial support for individuals who are or have been in an abusive situation. 

Survivors entering the shelter must live peacefully with various individuals who may differ in their beliefs, values, and goals. 

What about Children? 

Children are welcome at the shelter. 

We have special programs and activities for children in our shelter. Even though challenging, we ensure that all programs help children feel safe, secure, and loved. 

What is Provided at the Shelter?

  • The shelter is a communal living environment. For single individuals, bedrooms may be shared. Our current bathroom and shower areas and the living room, backyard, back porch, laundry room, dining room, and kitchen are also shared. 

  • Residents are asked to help with chores just like they would do at home. 

  • Residents will work with a case worker to achieve individualized goals to help them escape crises. 

  • Some transportation is available for business and medical appointments. 

What if the Shelter is Full?

When the shelter is full, staff help you find another place to stay with referrals. 

Shelter Myths

Survivors who are contemplating leaving their abusers are understandably overwhelmed by the unknowns of the future. One of the most overwhelming things can be finding new housing, even if just temporary housing in a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. 

Unfortunately, many shelters are poorly portrayed in the media, so most people don't have a realistic idea of what it is like to stay in a shelter for survivors. Because of this and the fact that it is essential to keep our shelter location secret so that our clients and staff are protected, no one knows what the shelter looks like or what to expect from our shelter atmosphere. 

To ease your fears, we're debunking five common myths about staying in a shelter and providing a more straightforward explanation of what to expect from staying at The River Valley Shelter. For anyone considering reaching out about The River Valley Shelters availability, we hope this information will ease your fears and provide you with the confidence you need to take the next step in leaving your abuser. 

The five most common myths we hear from those who have never stayed in a shelter are: 

  1. Shelters have no privacy. 

  2. It will look bad if I bring my children to a shelter. 

  3. My abuse isn't severe enough. 

  4. Shelters are connected to CPS, law enforcement, etc.

  5. I'm not female so that the shelter won't accept me. 

Shelters Have No Privacy 

The number one myth we hear about shelters is that shelters have no privacy and are like big open dorms. Although we can't speak for all shelters, The River Valley Shelter isn't built like a dorm. The River Valley Shelter is thoughtfully designed to create the most welcome and comfortable environment. 

Our shelter keeps families together in their rooms, so you'll never be separated from your kids. If it's just you staying at The River Valley Shelter, you may share a room with other single folks. 

Our common areas provide a space for residents to socialize and eat together. All our spaces are kept clean and are well-maintained. We're lucky to live in a community with access to nice furniture, kitchen appliances, and kitchen tools for everyone to use.  

I'm Not Seeking Shelter, Can I Still Get Help? 

Yes, you have the right to survive and thrive. We will be with you each step of the way, connecting you to services and supports that help you transition from victim to survivor. Our advocate will help you evaluate your options and offer resources to help you in your decisions for a safer life. 

If you are looking for help other than shelter, please feel free to call our Outreach Office. 

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