Home | About Domestic Violence | About Laurel House | Programs | How You Can Help

24 Hour Hotline
Shelter Services
Counseling Services
Bridge Housing Programs
Children's Program
Abused Deaf Victims Advocacy Network (ADVAN)
Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART)
Community Education & Training
Volunteer Program

Laurel House is changing the intergenerational consequences of domestic violence by empowering women. Laurel House offers a wide range of shelter and community programs. We provide services that help domestic violence victims free themselves from abuse. We work to create a community that has no tolerance for domestic violence through education and trainings.

All Laurel House programs and services are free of charge.

Laurel House 24-hour hotline-
TTY- 1-888-883-0770

Laurel House Administrative Office
Fax: 610-277-6425


24 Hour Hotline

A call to Laurel House is often the first step a woman takes in creating a violence-free life for herself and her family. On the other end of the line is a trained staff member or volunteer ready to discuss with the caller counseling issues, crisis intervention, referrals, legal options, safety planning, or any other domestic violence issue or question the caller may have. People call the hotline for many different reasons. Some callers are in immediate danger and need to come into shelter. Some women do not need shelter but are interested in counseling or a weekly support group. Many callers just need someone to listen to them without judging them. The hotline is also available for people who are concerned about someone they care for that may be in an abusive relationship. Whatever the reason for calling the Laurel House Hotline, there will always be someone on the other end ready to listen and be supportive.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, or you suspect someone you care about may be experiencing domestic abuse, call the Laurel House hotline.


Shelter Services

Often, battered women will contact Laurel House through our 24-hour hotline. When a woman calls the hotline and the counselor and woman agree that shelter is necessary, the counselor will bring the person in providing there is space. The Laurel House shelter houses up to 27 women and children. Women and their children are assigned to a private room that has enough beds to accommodate the family. The rest of Laurel House involves communal living, the sharing of chores, and participating in our programs.

The primary reason women seek out Laurel House is to secure safety for themselves and their children. In many cases, the threat of injury or death is so great that no other alternative but shelter exists. Our goal at Laurel house is to create a safe haven for women to stay by providing confidential shelter and a supportive living environment that allows them to make informed choices about their future.

Women entering Laurel House have taken a courageous step to regain control over their lives and to ensure safety for themselves and their children. The focus in shelter is on stabilizing their lives, helping them to understand their options and increasing their ability to achieve their goals.

If you are in need of safe shelter, please call our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-642-3150 or TTY-1-888-883-0770. A counselor will be able to assist you.


Counseling Services

Counseling services at Laurel House are open to anyone who may be experiencing or who has experienced domestic violence. Our counselors are experienced in working with women on a variety of issues due to domestic violence. We are sensitive to the special needs of women, and provide a safe place for women to come to talk about their individual issues. The counselors will assist women in exploring feelings about what has happened, help look at options available to them, and support them in making their own decisions.

Counseling Services-Shelter

  • Individual counseling for women
  • Group counseling for women
  • Drug and Alcohol counseling
  • Crisis counseling
  • Parenting education and support
  • Individual Advocacy
  • Safety Planning
  • Post-shelter support

Counseling Services - Community (non-shelter)

  • Individual Counseling
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Individual Advocacy
  • Safety Planning
  • Community Support Group for women coping with or surviving domestic violence. This group takes place at a confidential location in Montgomery County.
All counseling services are free of charge and confidential.


Bridge Housing Program

The Laurel House Bridge Housing Program is a two-year subsidized post-shelter housing program for twelve families. The program was created in response to the difficulties that women were having when looking for safe, affordable housing.

Counseling focuses on helping families to continue the healing process in a supportive environment. Mothers meet bi-weekly for group and individual sessions. Children receive individual and group counseling as well.

Practical issues, such as running a home and budgeting of time and money are addressed. Counselors encourage women to develop goals towards furthering their education or finding employment. Assisting women to gain information about available community resources helps them to avoid living form crisis to crisis.

We count the successes in many different ways. For some families, the priority is to heal relationship between the mother and her children. For others, this time can be an opportunity to gain needed life skills, education and job skills. Our focus is to always individualize our approach when supporting each woman in attaining the goals she has set for herself.


Children's Program

Domestic violence affects every person living in the home. Though they may not be the targets of the violence themselves, children who witness abuse are also victims. There is no typical reaction. Age, sex, the amount of violence witnessed, and whether the child is a victim as well as an observer, are all factors which influence how the child is affected. Witnessing violence affects all aspects of a child's development.

In the Laurel House Children's Program, three full-time child advocates work with the children and their mother, both in shelter and in the Bridge Housing Program. The goal of the Children's Program is to help each child feels safe and comfortable to express their feelings. This can be done individually as well as within a group setting. We support children during this stressful time of transition by offering them a safe, non-threatening, trusting environment. In addition to helping children recognize and express their feelings, we also try to teach and assist them in developing important life skills. These include: communication skills, conflict resolution, non-violent problem solving, safety planning, ways to deal with stress and anger.


ADVAN (Abused Deaf Victims Advocacy Network)

If you are a Deaf or Hard of Hearing victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, NOW is the time to start thinking about protecting yourself and getting the help you deserve. Please call our toll-free TTY hotline at 1-888-883-0770 to speak to a Laurel House counselor. We will then get in touch with an ADVAN volunteer who can assist you in what you need to do next.

In February 2001, ADVAN (the Abused Deaf Victims Advocacy Network), the first domestic violence and sexual assault program in Southeast Pennsylvania that provides services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing abused women, joined forces with Laurel House. Through this collaboration, the domestic violence services that are so needed to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community are available to them.

ADVAN's mission is to communicate to Deaf and Hard of Hearing women and children that they can take control of their lives and have choices. To achieve this goal it is necessary to improve the accessibility other systems that are traditionally geared toward hearing, English, Spanish, or Asian speaking individuals. The services available to hearing people must be available to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. The barriers of attitude, language and cultural difference must be overcome so those in need can heal and not suffer additional oppression.

ADVAN volunteers are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and fluent in ASL (American Sign Language). The volunteers provide direct services and advocacy for victims and their families through:

  • Crisis Counseling
  • Medical Advocacy
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Systems Advocacy
  • Community Education and Outreach

ADVAN also offers information and training to legal, medical and other professionals, thus enhancing their cultural knowledge and enabling them to fulfill the need of their Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients with skill and compassion.


DART (Domestic Abuse Response Team

Laurel House, a member of the Montgomery County Domestic Violence Health Care Collaborative, announces its new Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) program. This program will provide up to 20 volunteers to be advocates in hospitals for victims of domestic violence. The volunteers will provide immediate advocacy and counseling to the victims who may not be aware of the options that are available to them. Working together with participating hospitals, DART can assist in earlier identification of domestic violence and outreach to victims/survivors.

Hospitals included in collaborative -

  • Abington Memorial Hospital
  • Chestnut Hill Hospital
  • Holy Redeemer Health System
  • Main Line Health System - Bryn Mawr, Lankenau and Paoli Memorial Hospitals
  • North Penn Hospital
  • Montgomery Hospital Medical Center
  • Pottstown Memorial Medical Center
  • Suburban Mercy General Hospital
  • Tenet Health System - Elkins Park Hospital


Community Education and Training

The Laurel House Community Education Program provides education and training to the community about domestic violence. We work to build relationships with community service providers through presentations and trainings to health care professionals, law enforcement, business associations, corporations, social service providers, schools, congregations and more. We also provide community and media presentations and displays.

Sample Topics -

  • Laurel House: Who we are, what we can do and how you can help
  • What is Domestic Violence?
  • How Family Violence affects children
  • Domestic Violence in the workplace
  • Religious perspectives
  • Screen by health care providers
  • The legal system and Protection from Abuse Orders

Presentations and trainings are free of charge and can be customized to suit the needs of your group.

Dating Violence Education

Laurel House Dating Violence Prevention Programs heighten young adults' awareness of dating violence and domestic violence and offer tools to aid in building healthy relationships. Through our prevention and education program, we aim to break the cycle of violence by providing alternatives to the roles of victim and perpetrator.

We provide programs to middle, high school and college classes, as well as community, church and synagogue youth groups. Presentations include information about power and control, warning signs of potentially abusive behavior, safety tips, defining healthy relationships and gender role stereotyping.

Presentations are free of charge and can be customized to suit the needs of your group.


Volunteer Program

Volunteers are the backbone of Laurel House. With volunteer commitment, our programs will be able to reach a larger number of women and children who depend on us.

Volunteer opportunities are available in the following programs:

  • Shelter Program - Volunteers assist with the day-to-day running of the shelter, answer phones, assist women with child care, assist with donations, advocacy, shelter intakes, and options counseling.
  • 24-hour hotline - Volunteers provide information, referrals, options, emotional support, shelter screening, intakes, and crisis intervention.
  • Children's Program - Volunteers provide child care, arts and crafts, games and storytelling to the children in shelter.
  • Bridge Children's Programs - Volunteers assist with Bridge meetings on Wednesday evenings.
  • Bridge Program - Volunteers assist with setting up Bridge Housing apartments, making and keeping appointments for utilities and furniture delivery. The will also assist women in setting up their new homes - decorating, furnishing, etc.
  • Donations and Maintenance - Volunteers assist Site Director with collecting, evaluating, storing and distributing donations as well as monitor house chores and simple maintenance.
  • Medical Advocacy - Volunteers provide immediate advocacy for battered women seeking care at local hospital emergency rooms.
  • ADVAN - Volunteers provide advocacy for battered women and children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Volunteers must be fluent and/or willing to learn ASL (American Sign Language).
  • Community Education Program - Volunteers assist in educating the community on domestic violence issues by setting up community education displays, speaking at local schools, churches and community programs.
  • Support Group Facilitator - Volunteers facilitate support groups for women living with or surviving domestic violence.

A 47-hour volunteer training is provided by Laurel House.