Below are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to assist you as you navigate Harbor House services. Harbor House Advocates are always available at our 24-hour hotline at 815-932-5800 to answer any additional questions you may have.
Harbor House services are for survivors of domestic violence. We do not discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, age, etc. The emergency shelter has limitations like shelter capacity and survivors’ goals and safety, so shelter admission requests are determined on a case-by-case basis between the caller, advocate, and on-call staff person. When a survivor initially calls to request shelter, the advocate will ask questions about the situation and help them create an immediate safety plan. The advocate will then staff the shelter request with an on-call staff person. The advocate will call the survivor back with an answer like approval for shelter, offering other Harbor House services, or providing referrals to other community services.
Both of our shelters in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties are oftentimes overwhelmed by the demand, so there will be times when there are no beds available. Even if you call at a time when we have no space, our staff will do everything they can to help you plan for your safety such as referring you to another shelter, helping you find other housing options, and helping you with a safety plan.
All of Harbor House’s services are free. Services include hotline, chatline, emergency shelter, counseling for adults, youth, and families, support with the court system, support groups, case management, and community outreach and education. (The Resale Shoppe is not free as it supports Harbor House’s programs.)
Yes, our advocates are bound by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act to keep client information confidential. We may not release any client information to anyone without their consent with few exceptions like child abuse, elder abuse, abuse against an individual with a disability, and imminent danger. If advocates breach confidentiality, there are significant ramifications like loss of employment, charged with a misdemeanor, and more as outlined by the IDVA
In the event you and Harbor House advocates determine shelter is the best option and there is space available, then the advocate and survivor will establish a time by which you shall arrive. The advocate will greet you at the door, offer you a tour, give you time to get settled in your own room, then start the paperwork intake process. All services are designed to empower survivors and allow self-determination, so each person’s intake process may vary depending on their needs and decisions.
Harbor House's shelters are designed with survivor empowerment in mind. All efforts are made to provide clients with a comfortable and safe environment to facilitate healing.
Harbor House staff regularly clean the shelters and completely disinfect private rooms between each person’s stay. Survivors also have access to cleaning supplies to maintain their personal spaces.
Yes. We encourage you to call our hotline for immediate support over the phone. As you speak with an advocate, they can direct you to the best service for your situation. We can help you with the emotional and practical aspects of experiencing domestic violence including:
Harbor House provides short-term emergency shelter and crisis intervention. Your length of stay will take into consideration your unique situation as you work with the Shelter Supervisor.
Harbor House shelters are pet-friendly. We understand that they are a member of your family. Each case will be assessed individually and depends on a variety of factors including space restrictions, client safety, and the size and quantity of the pets. Harbor House does require proof of documentation that the animal be updated on vaccinations.
The main point of entry for any of our services, including the shelter, is our 24-hour hotline.
No visitors are allowed at our shelters at any time without prior consent from Harbor House staff. In the event a visitor is allowed at our shelter, they will be expected to sign a Visitor’s Confidentiality Contract. We are mandated by law to protect the security and privacy of survivors of domestic violence. By housing them at a confidential location, we take precautions to ensure safety.