Laura's House

Quick Escape

Safety Alert

To immediately leave our site click the QUICK ESCAPE button. Please test this now to ensure it works and you are familiar with its function.

We also suggest you clear your browser history after visiting our site by going to Tools → Internet Options → History → Delete

Emergency Shelter

Inside a Domestic Violence Shelter: Robin Visits Laura's House on Dr. Phil

Incidents of violence in Orange County are on the rise. During 2010, 25% more women, 60% more children sought an end to the violence they experience in their home lives, when compared to the previous year. In 2015, we served 290 individuals, including 127 children. By expanding its emergency shelter, Laura's House also has increased countywide capacity for serving individuals impacted by domestic violence by 15%.

Young boy taking shelter with teddy bear
  • Laura's House has a 52-bed shelter for abused women and their children.
  • Laura's House continues to be the only state-approved comprehensive domestic violence agency in South Orange County.
  • Food, toiletries and emergency clothing are provided for our families.
  • Regular group and individual counseling is provided for women and children.
  • Case managers assist the families with housing options, financial assistance and legal decisions regarding the future safety and security for the family.
  • Laura's House is the only Orange County domestic violence shelter which regularly accepts teenage males.
  • Life Skills courses are offered on topics to include health, nutrition, finances, parenting.

Patty's Story - A Laura's House Graduate

Patty called the 24 hour hot-line to learn more about her options. Her ex-boyfriend's physical abuse had escalated. Her boss called security to remove him when he showed up at her office the day before. Patty worried that her ex-boyfriend's harassment would affect her employment. She could not afford to lose another job. She and her children had just moved back to her mother's home after being evicted from their apartment, due to domestic violence. Patty packed her belongings, collected her daughters from school and drove straight to Safety Net.

Early the next morning the Shelter staff brought her family some breakfast. Later two case managers interviewed her in the hotel lobby, and the the three agreed that Patty would enter Laura's House. During the first 72 hours Patty and her children did not leave the facility. Within that time, she met her case manager, divided chores with her housemates and began attending group sessions each morning. She met weekly with her case manager and therapist during her stay. Her younger daughter participated in "Building Blocks" therapeutic preschool each morning while she attended group. her fifth grade daughter travled to the local public school and returned to the Shelter in time for "Kid's Club" to complete her homework. Each of her children met with a Marriage and Family therapist counselor in addition to her participation in structured therapeutic group activities. She also attended several "Life Skills" training workshops where topics included, reducing stress, healthy meal preparation, fundamentals of banking and résumé building.

After 45 days, Patty learned that her request to transfer her job location had been approved by her employer. As she had been a successful participant in the Emergency Shelter's programs, Patty was eligible for Step Ahead. The extra month in the transitional housing program allowed her to conserve her savings. She searched for an apartment near her new job and the children's schools. After 30 days, Patty left Laura's House as a successful graduate of both programs! Rebuilding lives is an important and often difficult task.

It takes dedicated and experienced staff, outstanding support programs and time. Without intervention and education programs, victims of domestic violence find it extremely difficult to break the cycle of coercion and abuse that have become the norm in their lives.

Through the comprehensive domestic violence programs and services at Laura's House, victims of domestic violence receive the time and the tools necessary to live healthy, independent, and violence-free lives.

By reducing risk factors and providing the information, education, life skills and support Laura's House is able to break the cycle of domestic violence and empower victims to move beyond the abuse and live fulfilling lives.

"When I came to Laura's House, I was scared, but I have grown as a person. I feel confident that I can accomplish anything." - Shelter Graduate
"The staff were honest and kind with me and my children. I thank all of them for their support. I will always take with me the good things I learned. I will continue to be strong. Thank you! - Shelter Graduate

Read more testimonials and inspirational quotes here.

  • Signs of Abuse
  • How to Help a Friend
  • Safety Planning