A local shelter that provides a safe space for families is preparing for the holidays.
The Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center holds 25 beds, 17 which are occupied at the moment according to executive director Rebecca Shields.
She says KWRCC is trying to make the holidays festive for families away from home.
“They have the shelter decorated. There’s a tree over there, and we’re hoping to have a big, family-style dinner.”
Shields says KWRCC provides services to those dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault, and families who seek shelter there are usually coping with a related issue.
Women without children live in a space upstairs and women with children live downstairs, where they have access to a playroom and a kitchen.
One reason a woman may choose to stay at the shelter, instead of at a friend or relative’s house for instance, is the building’s security measures. They include an alarm and camera system, bullet-proof doors, and a buzzer entry system.
Shields says the shelter is busy as usual, and while the holidays can be stressful, they aren’t usually a trigger for domestic violence.
“It doesn’t cause it. It just makes what’s there worse.”
She says KWRCC works with families who may not be able to provide their kids with a traditional Christmas experience due to budget constraints.
She says the shelter is accepting donations of food and presents for the holiday season.