In the Spring of 1977, interest in protective services for battered spouses was first stimulated locally by a Pittsburg State University class project. Local social and law enforcement agencies were surveyed to determine the extent of the problem and what services were being provided. It was estimated that out of 350 domestic disturbance calls answered by the Pittsburg Police Department from July 1977 to September 1978, that 60% involved battered women who filed charges. It was determined that organized protective intervention was needed for these victims.
SCC was incorporated by the State of Kansas as a non-profit organization on February 16, 1979. In the beginning, families in the Pittsburg community provided shelter for the victims and their children. During this time, the stay was limited to one day. In January 1981, an office and shelter were opened by the agency in Pittsburg and the length of stay was expanded to 3 days. In 1981, Safehouse developed the Rape Victims Assistance Network program and began offering services to victims of sexual assault.
Due to the demand for services in outlying areas in 1987, Safehouse expanded the area it served to include 10 counties in Southeast Kansas. An office was opened in Coffeyville in 1992 and a second shelter was opened there in 1995 to better serve the demand for shelter in those counties. In December 2002, a house in Coffeyville was donated by the family of Holly Stack in memory of Holly and her children who lost their lives to domestic violence. The office was named "Holly House" and opened in Coffeyville to provide space for supportive counseling and support groups as well as office space.
In December 2003, Safehouse opened the Child Exchange and Visitation Center (CEVC) in Pittsburg to provide a safe, neutral and monitored child-friendly environment for families to use to exchange their children between the residential and nonresidential parents/caregivers. The CEVC also provides supervised visitations for the non-residential parent and their children as necessary for the physical and emotional safety of the children. In September 2005, the CEVC was expanded to provide services at our Holly House location for families in Montgomery County and the surrounding area.
In 2009, the Coffeyville shelter burned leaving the residents without housing and the agency scrambling to meet the housing needs of victims in the area. A short-term apartment setting was established and soon the agency was able to secure another home in the area to serve as the shelter. Both shelters can now house up to 23 women and children and provide temporary housing up to 90 days.
With a local Pittsburg contribution in September 2011, SCC was able to purchase a building to house the Administrative Offices and the CEVC in Pittsburg. Prior to that purchase, office space had been rented in the Pittsburg area for the main offices of Safehouse since it was incorporated in 1979.
Safehouse has been in operation for 34 years and continues to provide advocacy and shelter services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Southeast Kansas. The cachment area now served by the agency includes the counties of Crawford, Montgomery, Labette, Cherokee, Bourbon, Linn, and Wilson. SCC could not operate without the continued support of our friends and volunteers in the communities we serve.