The mission of Harbor House is to serve all people impacted by domestic and sexual violence, lead the shift in perception of violence, and advocate for lasting social change.

Mom holding teen son close

About Harbor House

Harbor House is the singular agency in Outagamie and Calumet Counties committed to the awareness and prevention of domestic abuse. As passionate advocates, we constantly seek to start, drive, and shape the conversation around domestic abuse and the services needed to break the cycle. We do everything in our power to keep individuals and families safe through knowledge and connection.

Programming & Services

Available to shelter residents as well as non-residents, our free programming and services help individuals live a fulfilling life. All of our staff are highly trained in domestic abuse client advocacy and diversity awareness, with formal educational backgrounds in social work, human services, and education.

With the exception of our temporary shelter, all of the services offered at our Appleton location are also available through our Chilton office.

  • Our 68-bed shelter facility in Appleton, Wisconsin houses all victims of domestic abuse.
  • 24/7, confidential support and safety planning services are available in person and by phone at (800) 970-1171.
  • Additional services such as economic advocacy, legal advocacy, and support groups move beyond basic safety to break down barriers to personal growth and empowerment.
  • In addition to client services, Harbor House also offers K-12 prevention education as well as community education and training.
  • People who use abusive behaviors may access services through our domestic violence intervention program.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic Abuse is characterized by one partner's need to control the other using a range of tactics. It includes behaviors that frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

Our Board Members

Kristy Christensen, McCarty Law LLP
Nikki Voelzke, A2Z Design

Sarah Johannsen, U.S. Venture

Jennifer Betow, Miller Electric Mfg Co.



Jean Coopman-Jansen, Primary Care Associates

Kristina Flores, Prospera Credit Union

Mike Frisch, Appleton Police Department (Retired)

Kay Lynn Mahan, Kimberly-Clark

Emily Mueller, Schreiber Foods

Graeme Rattray, Oshkosh Corporation

Heidi Zich, Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities

Our Staff Leadership Team

Tracy Plamann (She/Her/Hers)
Interim Executive Director & Director of Programs


Karissa Holzknecht (She/Her/Hers)
Crisis and Shelter Manager

Gabby Croley (She/her)
Culture, Diversity, & Engagement Manager/Human Resources

Xong Lee (She/Her/Hers)
Outreach and Advocacy Manager

Lara Reddin (She/Her/Hers)
Volunteer Manager

Melissa Rettler (She/Her/Hers)

Beck Fritsche (They/Them)
Grant Writer

Andrew Lauer (He/Him) 
Facility Manager

Harbor House does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, and disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.


Inclusive Advocacy

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It crosses all racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic boundaries, and yet, it does not affect everyone the same way. At Harbor House, we strive to be mindful of shared commonalities, yet flexible enough to respond to the individual differences within each individual’s situation. To best serve ALL individuals and families affected by domestic abuse, we take great efforts to ensure our programming and services are accessible to persons with disabilities, respectful of other cultures, and available to those who speak different languages.

Accessible Facility

Housed in a former nursing home, our ADA-compliant facility has wheelchair accessible ramps at all entrances, accessible bathrooms and showers, and an elevator that allows anyone with limited mobility to access all three floors of our building, as well as the basement. We also have a videophone for speaking to clients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and we’ve successfully completed an on-site accessibility assessment by Wisconsin’s Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project.

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Multilingual Programming

We work hard to accommodate language differences. Shelter signage is printed in the three languages most prevalent in Northeastern Wisconsin - English, Hmong, and Spanish. Several staff members are bilingual, including staff who speak Spanish and Hmong. Professional Interpreters are brought in to assist other non-English speaking clients and clients who are deaf or hearing-impaired. We host a weekly women’s support group in Spanish and offer informational DVDs and brochures in Hmong and Spanish.

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Our History

Established in 1984, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs began as a county-administered program offering safe shelter and basic crisis services to domestic abuse victims. From these humble beginnings, we expanded to a 55-bed shelter facility with 24-hour emergency services and a wide range of programming for families affected by domestic violence.

View History

Strategic Partnerships

We partner with a number of likeminded community organizations, allowing us to expand our operational capacity beyond what can do on our own. Through collaborations and special projects that draw on each other’s strengths, we’ve worked to better address the needs and increase the self-sufficiency of domestic abuse victims and survivors in our area.

Learn More

Annual Reports

Harbor House receives funding from a variety of sources. It is our goal to use this funding to create the greatest value for survivors of domestic abuse. Our annual reports provide information on where funding comes from and how we turn that support into programming – and ultimately outcomes – for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse.

View Reports