Get to Know Us
About New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers, Inc.
New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers, a shelter for individuals and families who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse, was organized in 1978 through the cooperative efforts of an informal group of citizens in the La Crosse area who recognized the need for services to victims of domestic abuse. The organization and mission has grown substantially since that time, now reaching out to victims of sexual abuse, human-trafficking, and more. New Horizons is on the front lines advocating for and helping victims with many issues that some people may think do not exist in our community. This past August marked 40 years of serving the community!
New Horizons provides shelter and services to a seven county (population 238,236) area in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
New Horizons Shelter is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide emergency shelter and food to victims of domestic violence and their children.
The shelter’s Crisis Advocates provide support and advocacy for victims and children through their shelter stay. Often, when victims come into shelter, they are forced to flee their homes quickly and under great stress, leaving most of their belongings. Through community donations, New Horizons is able to provide families with clothing and personal care items.
In addition to providing the essentials of food and shelter to ensure the physical safety of individuals and families who have experienced abuse, New Horizons conducts various programs and services, all of which are confidential and complimentary.
- 24 Hour Crisis Line
- Outreach Centers—located in the City of La Crosse and the Town of Whitehall.
- Support Groups—providing a forum for victims with similar challenges to come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered, and provide a sense of community.
- Resource Advocacy—we have numerous advocates who assist victims to find affordable housing options and navigate other programs to establish a foundation for a fresh start.
- Legal Advocacy—we have staff who assist with restraining orders, & are knowledgeable on divorce & custody issues.
- Trauma Counseling—we have a licensed therapist on staff that assists individuals & families who are experiencing abuse.
- Youth & Family Advocacy—providing supports to children whose parent has been a victim of abuse, and working to bring a sense of balance back to families. Also helping teens & youth who find themselves in unhealthy, abusive, and even physically violent relationships.
- Diversity Advocacy—reaching out to marginalized populations to provide assistance and support.
- Anti-Human Trafficking—providing assistance and support for sex and labor trafficking victims.
- Teens & Youth—helping teens & youth who find themselves in unhealthy, abusive, and even physically violent relationships.
- Community Education and Awareness—working to stop domestic and sexual abuse before it starts & provide information to those who are already experiencing it.
Additionally as part of the above services and supports, New Horizons also works hand in hand with the law enforcement on a joint program called DART (Domestic Abuse Reduction Team). DART is a specialized enforcement unit of the La Crosse Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies that work with New Horizons to prevent repeat episodes of domestic violence in families that are at risk. DART pairs up police officers with victim advocates from New Horizons who visit victims to offer resource information and support. Together the team works to reduce domestic violence through a united effort with the goal of making La Crosse a safer place for families and officers.
In working with victims of domestic or sexual abuse, New Horizons advocates also help victims with Safety Planning. Simply put, Safety Planning is developing a quick plan of action for help and escape in time of danger for the victim. New Horizons often provides recycled cellphones that can only dial 911 which victims keep charged and hidden in a safe place.
Thanks to financial support in 2017, we…
- Provided 264 women, children and men with 10,840 nights of shelter
- Answered 2,542 calls to our crisis line
- Provided 11,871 contacts of advocacy to those we served
- Provided free and confidential services to over 1,500 unduplicated victims of abuse
- 80% of victims served resided in La Crosse County, 10% resided in Trempealeau County, 10% resided in surrounding counties
- The oldest victim to receive services was 89
- The youngest victim to receive services was under one year (there were seven children under 1 yr. old in 2017)