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Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety Campaign

CHS > Gift for Good > The Need

The Need

Demand for shelter is increasing


Approximately one in three women in South Dakota will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be victims of child abuse.

Exposure to domestic violence as a child is the single strongest predictor of domestic violence in adulthood (National Domestic Violence Hotline).

These numbers mean that most likely, one of your own family members or friends has experienced domestic violence. It’s often kept secret, but it happens to women, men and children of all ages, nationalities and income levels. 

Unfortunately, domestic violence is not just an incident. It’s a cycle that may be repeated with each generation. And it is a crime that can destroy self-worth, leads to self-destructive behaviors and result in permanent injury and death.

Healing Families
One Heart at a Time

As the population of the Sioux Falls region increases, the need for shelter and services for victims of domestic violence also increases. 

  • Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety’s current facility, built in 1991 and expanded in 2005, has a 24-bedroom capacity. 
  • Since 2015, overcrowding at Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety has prompted Children’s Home Society to consider options for expansion. Now the decision has been made to build a larger facility to accommodate the growing need for services.
population vs needs graph


In 1977, Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety opened as a two-bedroom bungalow to provide emergency shelter for children who were victims of abuse and neglect. 

Shortly after we opened, a mother who was a victim of domestic violence arrived with her children. From that point on, we sheltered both women and children. 


Capacity increased in 1979 with the purchase of a four-bedroom home, and services including support groups, crisis phone line, drop-in counseling, parenting classes and community education.


In 1991, Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety opened a new, 14-bedroom facility. In 1998, Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety merged with Children’s Home Society. An expansion in 2005 brought the building to its current, 24-bedroom capacity.

Today, Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety provides 24-hour, free emergency shelter for women, children, and men who are victims of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or elder abuse, along with:

  • Meals and transportation
  • 24-hour crisis hotline
  • Counseling services
  • Parenting education
  • Support groups
  • Safety planning
  • Rural advocacy
  • Community referrals
  • Community education

As the only domestic violence shelter in the region, we serve all of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties—a population close to 300,000—along with McCook, Turner and Union counties.  

Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety employs approximately 70 full- or part-time staff. Because we are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, staff are on site at all times.

The services provided by Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety to this community are not only important, they are absolutely critical. As our city grows, our vulnerable populations grow as well. Caring for victims of domestic violence is difficult work, but Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety has a track record of providing the safety, support and fresh start that these victims need.

Paul TenHaken
Mayor, City of Sioux Falls

For victims of domestic violence needing emergency shelter in our community, Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety is the only option. We have committed to never turning away a victim who has no other safe place. Without a new facility and the endowment funds to operate it, we will be unable to uphold that commitment.

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