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US — THE GOOD SHEPHERD SHELTER — THE FIRST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER IN LOS ANGELES

US — THE GOOD SHEPHERD SHELTER  — THE FIRST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER IN LOS ANGELES
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The Sis­ters of the Good Shep­herd have a his­to­ry of more than 370 years of ded­i­ca­tion to women and girls who have been abused or exploit­ed in their life sit­u­a­tions. They are cur­rent­ly serv­ing in 72 coun­tries in a vari­ety of min­istries aimed at heal­ing indi­vid­u­als, rec­on­cil­ing fam­i­lies and offer­ing them the tools need­ed to become healthy and pro­duc­tive mem­bers of society.

Although world­wide, each local pro­gram is finan­cial­ly inde­pen­dent. The Sis­ters have been pro­vid­ing their ser­vices to Los Ange­les for 110 years. In 1904, the Sis­ters came to Los Ange­les to work with trou­bled teenage girls. For over 70 years, an aver­age of 200 teenage girls were placed annu­al­ly in their care by the juve­nile court sys­tems but the rea­son that most had been involved in crime was in an effort to sur­vive on the streets after run­ning away from abu­sive and vio­lent homes.

In 1977, fol­low­ing major shifts in the juve­nile sys­tem, the Sis­ters looked for new ways to help chil­dren from vio­lent or dys­func­tion­al homes and, at the same time, to help the fam­i­lies. They, there­fore, opened one of the first shel­ters for vic­tims of domes­tic vio­lence in the coun­try. It ini­tial­ly oper­at­ed as an emer­gency facil­i­ty until oth­er shel­ters were estab­lished. The Sis­ters could then con­vert the pro­gram to pro­vide more oppor­tu­ni­ties for heal­ing. In 1979, an apart­ment build­ing was pur­chased in order to give each fam­i­ly the per­son­al space need­ed to reunite, restruc­ture and reverse the vio­lent dynam­ics and learn to func­tion in a healthy, non-vio­lent atmos­phere. The shel­ter then became a long-term facil­i­ty, focus­ing on treat­ment, edu­ca­tion and healing.

We feel that our pro­gram offers the best approach to ENDING the GENERATIONAL cycle of vio­lence. It is unique in that it is the only shel­ter with sep­a­rate fam­i­ly apart­ment units, full school­ing for the chil­dren, an Adult Learn­ing Cen­ter, ther­a­peu­tic ser­vices and legal advo­ca­cy— all on site. 

See our sto­ry on NBC4.

Although finan­cial­ly inde­pen­dent, Good Shep­herd Shel­ter of Los Ange­les is a spon­sored min­istry of the Sis­ters of the Good Shep­herd Mid-North Amer­i­ca. For more infor­ma­tion about the Sis­ters of Good Shep­herd, click here.

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