What can I expect when I contact you?
Please see our page on this question.
What is your service area?
Hope House has a five-county service area that includes Sauk, Columbia, Juneau, Marquette, and Adams Counties.
Are your services free?
Yes, the services we provide, such as supportive counseling, legal assistance, support and wellness groups, emergency shelter, presentations and trainings are free of charge.
Do I need to stay in your shelter in order to get help or receive other services?
No, our advocates work with victims regardless of whether or not they are staying in our shelter. In fact, the majority of people we serve do not reside in our shelter. Shelter is just one of the options we offer to victims.
Do you provide services to men?
All Hope House services are provided to all victims of domestic and sexual abuse, regardless of disability, race, color, national origin or ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, political belief, or affiliation.
How is Hope House funded?
The majority of Hope House's funding comes from governmental grants, such as the Victims of Crime Act, Sexual Assault Victim Services, and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Other funding sources include community/local foundation grants, United Way, Hope House fundraising, and local support. Hope House relies on the community for donations as some of our grants require us to have a certain amount of matching from the community.
I've heard of another "Hope House" - are you affiliated?
Our official title is Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. We are not affiliated with any other Hope Houses in the state or elsewhere in the country.
How long has Hope House been in existence?
Hope House was organized as the Sauk County Task Force on Domestic Abuse in March of 1983 and became incorporated as a non-profit organization on October 23, 1983. The Board of Directors and numerous volunteers worked to help individuals affected by domestic violence. The first paid Director was hired in 1986 to recruit volunteers, promote services, secure funding, and develop the organization. Two major functions were identified for the new agency: 1) client services and 2) community education. Emergency shelter was provided on a short-term basis by a network of volunteer "safe homes" within Sauk County. In November of 1987, the Task Force purchased an older, single-family home with four bedrooms to provide emergency shelter. In January of the following year, the shelter opened its doors.
In December of 1997, the name of the organization was formally changed to Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. (d.b.a. Hope House), because it reflected the spirit of the agency, the area of coverage, and the variety of resources offed by the program. In 2000, Hope House formally changed the mission of the organization to reflect the inclusion of services for victims of sexual assault. In the spring of 2010, Hope House purchased a former assisted living home at 720 Ash Street in Baraboo. For the first time, Hope House had offices and shelter in the same location.
In 2016, Hope House staff and board had conversations about our philosophy, guiding principles, and commitment to not only providing services to people already affected by domestic violence and sexual assault, but also working to prevent the abuse. As such, our mission was revised to reflect this commitment: Hope House’s mission is to prevent abuse and provide support for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
In 2017, Hope House partnered with Adams and Marquette Counties to implement the Lethality Assessment Program. This homicide prevention program involves law enforcement officers identifying victims at the greatest risk of being killed and immediately calling Hope House with them. Hope House advocates provide education on the danger they’re in, safety plan with them, and ask to follow-up with them.
In recent years, Hope House has strived to better educate the community on the full scope of our services. Despite Hope House being most known as a shelter, in reality shelter is the smallest service we provide. In 2018, Hope House provided supportive services to over 2,500 people and shelter to 63 families. Our advocates supported 42 sexual assault survivors during Forensic Nurse Exams at area hospitals. They provided supportive services to over 180 teens. Hope House facilitated over 580 presentations to kids and teens on topics like healthy relationships, internet safety, protective behaviors, dating abuse, sexual assault and consent, sexual harassment, bystander intervention, gender stereotypes, and media literacy.
In October 2018, Hope House celebrated 35 years of providing services to survivors. Thank you to all the community members who have supported us and helped us get to this point! We look forward to the day when there is no longer a need for our services, but until that day comes, we will continue to provide hope for those who need it.
What do you mean by "advocacy"?
The role of Hope House advocates is to listen, believe, support, and empower victims and survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. Advocates answer the helpline, provide counseling and safety planning for adults and children, facilitate support groups, help with obtaining restraining orders and court accompaniment, and provide information, resources, and referrals. Hope House advocates meet with victims and survivors throughout our five-county service area to provide these advocacy services.
Can my advocate set me up with housing, food, transportation, or money vouchers?
Hope House advocates will inform victims/survivors about available resources in the community. Advocates will discuss options and steps victims/survivors can take and support them through that process. Advocates will not make decisions for victims/survivors or take the steps for them (this is a part of our empowerment philosophy).