New shelter in Bozeman to provide enhanced amenities and community engagement for domestic violence survivors
A new and expanded shelter that opened in Bozeman this spring hopes to better serve the needs of domestic violence survivors in Gallatin County.
Haven’s prior shelter was located in a single family home. The nonprofit’s Executive Director, Erica Coyle, says the new shelter, which is located in the west part of town near Bozeman Pond, has 40 beds for survivors, their kids and their pets.
“We are quadrupling the number of survivors that we can serve in this new space, and at the same time we’re letting them bring their pets in. We know that about three quarters of all survivors who have pets will delay leaving an abusive relationship for fear of what will happen to their pet,” she said.
Survivors can walk from the shelter next door to a community “connection room” where Coyle says they plan to have yoga and meditation classes and workshops and trainings with community groups.
“Some of it will be really geared towards domestic violence, that is our mission, but a lot of it will really be looking at how do we build community because we know that when we have a strong community survivors feel more supported and safer,” she said.
The nonprofit incorporated survivor feedback into the shelter's design, which includes a large, shared kitchen. Coyle says residents said that they formed supportive connections with one another through food.