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Founding History

The Women’s Safe House – Founded in 1977, The Women’s Safe House, formerly St. Louis Abused Woman Support Project, was the first domestic violence shelter in St. Louis; operating solely with volunteer support. Originally, the shelter was located in a turn—of—the—century Victorian style house in the Saint Louis Area. The original facility, rented from the Sisters of Loretto for just $1 per year, could accommodate up to 26 women and children.

In 1995, with no option to either secure a long-term lease or purchase the property, coupled with the growing need for additional space to accommodate the high volume of women and children escaping violence, the Board of Directors embarked on a formal process to relocate the shelter. A capital campaign was initiated and more than $1 million were raised to apply towards the purchase of a new building.

By 1999, The Women’s Safe House moved to its current location that offered space for 35 women and children, a commercial kitchen/dining room, children’s play area, space for group sessions, storage, staff offices, and a conference room. Phase II of the renovation was completed in late 2003, enabling The House to offer emergency shelter to a total of 50 women and children.