(Photos of a bedroom, day care center, and dining area of Anna Marie's Shelter.)
"...finally my daughter and I feel safe. The groups and daycare are amazing and the meetings with my advocate helped the most. I can't thank Anna Marie's Alliance enough, they are a miracle." ~ A.S.
Anna Marie's Shelter provides 24-hour emergency shelter for battered women and their children. Located in St. Cloud, MN, Anna Marie’s is a safe place where victims receive information, referral, and confidential advocacy services to help them move on with their lives. Aftercare Advocacy continues to provide support and information for individuals upon leaving the shelter. The shelter has 36-beds, communal living, dining, and play rooms and allows for stays up to 45 days.
Jill Eckhoff Transition House
This three-bedroom house offers a safe, secure, and supportive environment for women transitioning from Anna Marie's Shelter. Women begin stabilizing their lives by working on parenting, budgeting, permanent housing, and basic life skills. Advocates are committed to assisting women in meeting their long term needs.
A separate shelter for cats, dogs and other small family pets is being built on site with the emergency shelter. Women and their children may visit and play with their pet and relax knowing their furry friend is safer than if they would have had to leave it behind. This area will also double as an education center for the children to learn about caring for their pets and kindness for living things.
All staff of Anna Marie’s Alliance are trained in the trauma-informed model of care. Karen Johnson of the National Council for Behavioral Health conducted the training at the shelter. This training is the beginning of our work to be an organization that provides services based on current research and are identified as best practices for domestic violence shelters.
Becoming trauma-informed means recognizing people may have had many different types of trauma in their lives. People who have been traumatized need support and understanding from everyone around them. Trauma survivors can be re-traumatized by well-meaning caregivers who just don’t understand the effects of trauma.
A trauma-informed approach builds on resilience and strength. These core values will guide our process and assist us in reflecting a trauma-informed care organization:
Create a safe, calm and secure environment
Expect staff to understand trauma and its impact
Be culturally aware and respectful
Value the voice of those who receive service
Deliver research-based treatment services
Build healing, hopeful, honest, and trusting relationships
Understanding the effects of trauma will assist our staff in working with women and children affected by violence. Anna Marie’s Alliance intends to incorporate these practices into our entire process of program service delivery. This knowledge must be incorporated into our work to avoid the risk of re-victimization.
In addition to the initial agency-wide training, a part-time trauma informed specialist will serve as an individual and group therapist for residents and as a resource for staff.
A team of staff members will lead this process as we move forward. The team will review our current systems and identify areas for change or improvement.