Crisis & Shelter Advocacy

When individuals reach out to us, we know that immediate support is critical, which is why our shelter program has responded to growing demands, providing safe shelter for all who seek it – regardless of capacity.

Located at 720 West Fifth Street in Appleton, Wisconsin, our handicap-accessible, 68-bed facility provides safe shelter at no cost to adults and children experiencing domestic abuse. This includes emotional, financial, physical, sexual, verbal, and other forms of abuse. We are open 24 hours a day and we accept both walk-in and scheduled appointments.

More than Just a Shelter

At Harbor House, we’re more than just a shelter – we’re a community of support and encouragement. If you’re leaving your situation in a hurry, we offer food, clothing, personal care items, and other basic needs. And we encourage all clients – both shelter residents and nonresidents – to meet with an Advocate to develop a safety plan and get help connecting to additional services. We also provide access to safe transportation so you can make the important appointments in your life.

Blog Post: Debunking Our Shelter Program Myths

In this blog post, we wanted to shed some light on a few misconceptions regarding utilizing our safe shelter program.

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Blog Post: Promoting the Importance of Keeping all Family Members Safe

We understand that pets are family and if a family needs to seek safety, all members should be included.

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Blog Post: Do you have to stay in our shelter to utilize our services?

No! Harbor House offers six key programs that are all available to everyone in our community.

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Safe Space

Our shelter facility is protected by a comprehensive security system that includes controlled entry into the building, security cameras, and specific procedures that ensure safe entry for residents, volunteers, and donors. Safety is also emphasized when training new staff, volunteers, and board members. In addition, staff is on duty 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week to take crisis calls and attend to the needs of clients.

Safe Space
Judgment Free Zone

Judgment-Free Zone

We realize that each person’s experience is unique. We’re not here to tell you what to do when to do it, or how to do it. We’re here to support the decisions you make by surrounding you with encouragement, services, and resources. Our advocates will never push you to share more than you want to – and we will not share your information with anyone else, including law enforcement unless we have explicit written permission.

Additional Programming

While the Harbor House Shelter Program can help address your most fundamental needs by providing safe shelter and safety planning services, it is also the gateway to a number of additional services that help you move beyond basic safety and towards a life of self-sufficiency and personal empowerment.


Adult Program

The Harbor House Adult Program helps clients address the trauma experienced as a result of domestic abuse while also removing barriers to self-sufficiency and empowerment. Services include one-on-one counseling, safety planning, support groups, legal and economic advocacy, and referrals to other community resources.

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Youth Program

Our Youth Program offers children and teens a supportive environment where they can learn about domestic abuse and discuss strategies to stay safe. Individual and group support gives young people the chance to share their experiences. Youth Advocates also work with the protective parent to provide legal and educational assistance.

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Critter Corner

We understand that your pet is an important part of the family and a source of comfort during difficult times. Our Critter Corner pet shelter offers safe, short-term, on-site accommodations for your pet while you stay in our shelter. We’re also the first shelter in the state of Wisconsin to be listed as a SAF-T Shelter.

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