Charity Spotlight: Shelter House


Abuse has varying forms. It can be physical, verbal, or emotional. All are damaging. Some are deadly. Many times, children are caught in the crossfire as they witness and sometimes directly experience abuse. This leads to physical or emotional trauma and can even result in similar behavior patterns. It is reported that one-third of children who experience or witness abuse in their home go on to abuse loved ones. 

When a victim of abuse knows they have a resource to help them escape their situation, they are more likely and able to call for help. Shelter House of Northwest Florida is that resource in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. They can help. They work as a free and confidential support team for survivors of abuse to help them rebuild their lives, becoming empowered, confident, and most importantly, safe.

Shelter House provides a variety of services including confidential shelter, court advocacy, peer counseling, support groups, primary prevention, transitional housing, economic empowerment workshops, 24-hour crisis hotline, child therapy services and supportive services for family members of sexual violence victims. They are also the only pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in Northwest Florida, as they know many women stay in abusive relationships because they have nowhere to go with their pets.

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) helps fund services specific to affected children who come to Shelter House. DCWAF funds allow Shelter House to employ Youth Advocates and Play Therapists who help heal the brokenness children feel from abuse in their home. They are committed to making sure the needs of the children are addressed and met.

To learn more about the impact Shelter House has made in our community, READ THIS feature in The Destin Log's Corks for a Cause column. 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact Shelter House at their 24-hour crisis hotline 850-863-4777, or CLICK HERE to visit their website.

- Melissa Vidaurre 

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2016