Grace Smith House enables individuals and families to live free from domestic violence by providing a comprehensive range of emergency, residential, and community-based domestic violence services to individuals and their children in Dutchess County. When Grace Smith House opened in the early 1980s, no one envisioned that the organization would serve over 2,000 families each year. Grace Smith House operates a professionally staffed 24/7 hotline, emergency shelter, and transitional housing, in addition to providing client advocacy and counseling, and prevention education to raise the consciousness of the community regarding the extent, type, and seriousness of domestic violence. Grace Smith House also actively engages in advocacy, initiating and taking positions on public policies which seek to empower victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Grace Smith House’s 24-hour crisis hotline serves as a gateway to shelter and helps victims/survivors assess the danger they are in, understand their options, and create a safety plan. The 25-bed emergency shelter serves adults and children up to the age of 18 and provides basic needs, as well as assistance accessing critical services and supports. Shelter residents are assigned a family advocate who provides case management and support in securing legal services and navigating the legal system, medical care, employment, and housing. In addition, youth advocates provide childcare, children’s programming, and school advocacy. A transitional housing program offers 15 studio to three-bedroom apartments where individuals and families may live for up to two years while receiving support toward securing permanent housing, and assistance accessing education, job training and employment. Grace Smith House also provides individual counseling and support groups for victims/survivors and their children. Lastly, Grace Smith House offers school and community-based education and prevention programs on healthy relationships, violence and bullying prevention, bystander education to middle and high school students, and training on universal screening and identifying domestic violence to healthcare and other providers in our community.
In 2022, the Dyson Foundation renewed a multi-year grant for general operating support to Grace Smith House, providing flexible funding to assist the organization’s ability to absorb rising operating costs, including improving the competitiveness of compensation to support staff recruitment and retention.