For over 20 years, Apna Ghar (Our Home) has been a safe haven for women and children in Chicago who face domestic violence, but don’t have the support networks or access to services needed to break free. While our services are open to all women in Chicagoland, Apna Ghar specializes in serving immigrant women who must overcome significant cultural, social, economic, and legal barriers to life in the United States.
In order to best serve this vulnerable population, Apna Ghar’s core services are:
- 24-Hour Hotline: Our hotline addresses the immediate safety needs of callers, who can connect to our services, get referrals to other programs, and get information about domestic violence and the protective options available to them.
- Emergency Shelter: Our 15-bed, 24-hour emergency shelter provides women and their children who are escaping abuse a home-like atmosphere where they can regain control of their lives. Care is taken to maintain a culturally-sensitive, secure, and healing environment.
- Transitional Housing: Our seven transitional housing apartments offer Apna Ghar shelter clients who have moved beyond an emergency phase the space to establish long-term self-sufficiency. Transitional housing is available for 18-24 months. All transitional housing residents receive ongoing, intensive case management during their stay.
- Counseling: Our counselors use individual and family therapy, support groups, art therapy, conflict management, and communication training to help women and their children process and heal from the trauma of abuse. Counseling is provided to both residential and non-residential clients.
- Legal Advocacy: Our legal advocates guide residential and non-residential clients through the US legal system. Advocates help clients access available legal remedies, including obtaining civil orders of protection, pressing criminal charges, obtaining crime victims’ compensation, filing for divorce, custody, and support, as well as acquiring legal immigration status through protective statutes such as the Violence Against Women Act. Advocates also help clients obtain legal representation through an in-house legal clinic and partnerships with area legal aid agencies and volunteer attorneys.
- Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center: Our supervised visitation and safe exchange center, one of only three in the city of Chicago, provides a free, safe place where children can interact with their non-custodial parent in the presence of a trained facilitator. The center also offers a safe location for parents to pick-up and drop-off their children when the courts determine that the non-custodial parent may have unsupervised visits.