Washbourne House

Washbourne House
Washbourne House

PO Box 3817
Kingston, NY   12402
(845) 679-2485 / 338-2370

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Program Director:  Karen Storch
Assistant Program Director: Jessica LaFera

Program Hours: 24 Hour Access through the county-wide hotline and text line.

Call Our 24 Hour Hotline At:
845 338-2370
845 647-2443
845 679-2485
845 255-8801

For Support  Groups Call :
845 331-7080

Spanish Speaking Domestic Violence Services:
Call  – 845-331-7080

Family Court Advocacy:
Call Deborah Ashokeji at (845) 481-9465 or email courtadvocate@familyofwoodstockinc.org.

PRIMARY FUNCTION: To provide safe shelter and comprehensive trauma informed services to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

ANCILLARY SERVICES: Counseling (individual and group); case management; domestic violence support and education groups; Department of Social Service domestic violence waiver evaluations; recreation and education for children; parenting support and education; assistance in finding transitional and permanent housing; transportation; referrals and advocacy to access medical and mental health treatment; food pantry for residents as part of aftercare.

2021 was our first full year of living and working residentially during a pandemic. Though the majority of our staff choose to be vaccinated, residential health and safety protocols for our clients continued to take up a lot of time and energy. Staff were very grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated, and this additional protection did take a significant amount of stress out of our daily work with each other and with clients.

The shelter still had fewer clients, no group activity, limited social contact between clients, and a lot of focus on Covid-19 safety and health protocol.  The necessary shift in priority from building community among residents to discouraging this community has meant an increase in demand on individual workers for individual work with clients. Though we housed fewer clients, they have also predictably continued to stay longer. (This change was noted in our 2020 overview as well. We moved from an average of 62 days for a client’s length of stay in 2019, to a 98 day length of stay in 2020, and a 102 day length of stay in 2021.) Longer stays coupled with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing in communal areas has meant a shelter that feels safe from a health perspective, but less cohesive from an emotional perspective. We also continued to grapple with the reality of the housing shortage that our clients are currently facing in Kingston, and in surrounding towns. Eviction moratoriums, coupled with many people coming to the Hudson Valley during the pandemic has resulted in significant increases in rental prices and significant decreases in housing availability. The staff continues to do their best with the limited opportunities that we can find and have also worked hard to insure that all of our clients have applied for Section 8, and any other housing support programs that they are eligible for.

As we all continue to work where our clients live, we strive to find protocols that meet all of our needs and still allow clients to feel comfortable and relaxed in their home. We plan to begin online groups shortly, and are hopeful that these changes might assist with creating the sense of community that we all miss so much.