Access and Admissions to Shelter

Single battered women as well as abused women with children (including boys up to age 17) living in the United States, are eligible for entry into our crisis shelter. If your partner or husband is abusing you or someone you know, call us now — we never close and we can help.

Counselors answer the House of Ruth Maryland’s Hotline (410-889-7884), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When a battered woman calls our hotline seeking shelter, a counselor will ask her a number of questions regarding the abuse, her batterer, her children and the situation. We ask for this information so that we can figure out together how best we can help.

Like a hospital emergency room, we too must give preference and triage requests for admission to shelter because we simply don’t have enough rooms. Last year, nearly 1,000 battered women called seeking shelter; however, space was available for fewer than 200 of them. We know that many abusers use increasing levels of violence to control their partners. None of us can assess the level of future risk or predict an abuser’s behavior with absolute certainty. But, we do know that some abusers put their victims at grave risk of immediate harm or death unless the victim can reach safety. We bring these victims into shelter immediately even if every room is occupied. In these circumstances, women or families must live in makeshift arrangements in our shelter until a room becomes available.

We work with every battered woman to ensure her right to safety. If we can’t offer shelter as an option, a Client Services Coordinator will work to develop a safety plan with every battered woman. Also, the Service Coordinator can coordinate access to the range of counseling, legal and case management services available from our non-shelter programs. In some situations, we may be able to provide temporary safe housing in a hotel.