The Who and What of Emergency Shelter Program
Who We Are
Emergency Shelter Program is a non-profit agency in Hayward, California that has provided shelter and supportive services since 1972 for women and children who experience domestic violence, homelessness and more recently human trafficking. ESP was one of the first shelters for women and children in the Bay Area established by community volunteers who saw a need for these services and the diverse staff have keep this agency’s mission alive for 40 years.
The Vision of Emergency Shelter Program is to provide a safe and life directing experience for women and children who make the choice to leave a life of domestic violence, human trafficking and homelessness
The Mission of Emergency Shelter Program is to foster a wellness based and culturally responsive community providing emergency shelter and supportive services to women and children who experience domestic violence, human trafficking, and homelessness.
Our Staff consists of 7 different cultures who speak 8 different languages to ensure our clients receive the most culturally responsive interactions. Our staff consists of compassionate and educated advocates, therapists, social workers and business leaders who heal from a trauma informed perspective with the client’s best interest in mind.
CORE PRINCIPLES AT EMERGENCY SHELTER PROGRAM
Maintain a Safe Environment at all Times
Maintain a safe environment, both physically and emotionally, for everyone involved.
Promote Choice and Trust
Providing choices can counteract fear and the sense of powerlessness, and ultimately create trust.
Set-up Everyone for Success
Consistency and teamwork among staff are essential ingredients of a safe environment and successful clients. Clients must be empowered to become their own risk managers.
Avoid Power Struggles
Get in your CAR (calm, aware, and respectful) self before, during, and after crisis situations. Present yourself as an ally and assess your body language.
Pro-action verses Re-action
Timing is essential in effectivel managing a crisis situation. Use good judgment and do not under-react or over-react. Use ESP’s specific pro-active policies and de-escalation strategies relative to crisis management and a safe environment.
Do No Harm
Clients can often be re-traumatized or triggered by situations or people. Be aware of your actions, words and body language. The client’s best interest is our number one priority
All services are accessible and available to clients from diverse cultures, backgrounds, experiences, and lifestyles.
Embrace an ongoing commitment to actively and honestly working together as a team among staff and with clients to explore and seek solutions to barriers for better access for diverse women, youth, and children.
Maintain quality collaboration between staff, outside providers, and the community by fully utilizing existing services, advocating for new ones, and participating in outreach
Maintain ongoing collaborations to provide new opportunities to increase the quality of interactions between and among government and community-based organizations; to challenge partners and the community as a whole to enhance and increase knowledge, greater service effectiveness, and better outcomes for women, youth and children.
What We Do
Shelter and Supportive Services for Women & Children
ESP operates one of Alameda County's most established shelters for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and homelessness. At our 42-bed shelter, we provide confidential housing, food, clothes, therapy, advocacy, legal assistance and a children’s program for approximately 220-360 women and children each year. Our diverse and dedicated staff assists women in developing skills and healing from the trauma, ultimately for self-sufficiency. Our Children’s Program staff focuses on the developmental issues of the children due to trauma and there circumstances to ensure progress towards education, parental attachment, emotional safety and physical health. ESP's 24-hour hotline (888-339-SAFE) provides information and referrals to over 5,000 women and children per year. Please see our ESP Programs page for a more detailed description of program services.
ESP’s shelter site is a confidential location to ensure the safety of the clients. This requires us to serve walk-in clients at our local Hayward administrative office. During business hours, clients are able to walk in to the administrative office and receive referrals and a direct connection with our shelter. In addition to serving walk-in clients our administrative office, we hold board meetings, staff trainings, fundraising meetings, and it is the hub of our development projects.
Collaborations for the Latina Community
ESP is collaborating with Mujeres Unidas Activas (MUA) in providing Spanish-speaking peer counselors who assist with community outreach to Latinas, DV counseling for women (one on one and in group sessions, when appropriate), and client advocacy work. MUA is also providing access to a bilingual clinician (English/Spanish) to work with our monolingual Latinas. The counselors provide legal advocacy, translation, court accompaniment and educational support to our monolingual Spanish speaking clients.
ESP's Newest Program
ESP has two on-site licensed therapists that provide crisis intervention, individual therapy, mental health and substance abuse counseling to all shelter residents. The therapists provide assessments and referrals to support psychiatric issues and collaboration. ESP’s licensed therapists use “best practices” with sensitivity to the diverse languages/cultures of the clients, and networking and collaborating with other CBOs who serve this population to deliver broader health education that supports the client. After-care therapy is offered to our clients after exiting the program for continued support and emotional stability.