Sacramento is a city made up of many different cultures and types of people, allowing for it to be one of the most diverse environments in California. The Asian and Pacific Islander community are some of the many different communities in Sacramento and combined are becoming some of the biggest in the region.

As a growing population with not a lot of cultural support in the area, many Asian and Pacific Islander women and families find themselves in trouble. My Sister’s House is the only non-profit organization in the Central Valley that specifically aids the highly diverse Asian/Pacific Islander community against domestic violence.

My Sister’s House provides community outreach and education on domestic violence, a multilingual 24 hour helpline, a new six bed transitional house, a Women to Work Program and the Safe Haven Shelter.

The Safe Haven Shelter is the only long term shelter that serves the specific needs of the highly diverse Asian populations. The shelter serves to women in need who are in abusive relationships and are in search of an escape in a world they are unsure of.

“We purposely operate as a small shelter because we feel it fits the cultural appropriateness,” states My Sister’s House Executive Director, Nilda Valmores. “Asian women, especially immigrants, aren’t used to the giant city bureaucracies so we want to provide somewhere where they feel comfortable enough for them to receive help,” Valmores continues with.

Domestic violence shelters are places where victims go because it is necessary for their safety. Since they often provide not only a place to stay but a variety of programs and activities to aid in the healing process, The Safe Haven Shelter makes an effort in creating an environment that can feel like home and not a temporary institution. The Safe Haven Shelter has workers and volunteers that speak native languages of the Asian/Pacific Islander community as well as serving Asian style meals to help the women feel safe while staying in the shelter.

The Safe Haven Shelter is a long term program for women to stay in because it is designed to not only help women recover, but get back on their feet and into the working world on their own. The shelter works with the Women to Work Program which aids women with the supportive services needed to become independent in the community. The Safe Haven Shelter wants the women of the Asian/Pacific Islander community to be the educated and strong women they deserve to be.

For more information on The Safe Haven Shelter or any other of My Sister’s House’s programs visit their website at www.my-sisters-house.org/ or call their information and helpline at (916) 428-3271.