The Residential Programme provides a 24-hour crisis response for women and their children who are being abused in their homes. There are trained staff members on duty at all times and the facility is open all year including public holidays. The Residential Programme houses on average 22 women and 35 children who stay in the Residential Programme for four months.
The benefits of the Residential Programme being part of the Centre are that residents have easy and safe access to a range of services provided by Centre partners. These include specialised counselling services such as rape, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS counselling, a free legal advice service and economic empowerment programmes.
During their stay in the Residential Programme, the women participate in individual and group counselling, psycho-educational workshops and job skills training. Pre-school children spend their weekdays in the crèche, while school-going children are placed in neighbouring schools.
In 2004, the Centre opened the first four second-stage housing units for residents who need to stay longer in a more secure environment and who are able to pay a small monthly rent. The women and their children are able to live in these houses for a further six to nine months.
Thanks to generous funding from Chris Pinkham and the Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation, another six houses were built in 2006. They were officially opened on 15 December 2006 by Rosieda Shabodien, well known gender and development activist.
Eerste Begin Shelter, Worcester
The Centre opened a sister shelter in partnership with the Cape Winelands District Municipality in August 2008. This Shelter also offers a 24-hour emergency hotline seven days a week, as well as accommodation to women and children from the surrounding rural communities.