Escape

History

From the Northern
Westchester Shelter to Hope’s Door

In 1979, the Junior League of Northern Westchester, with support from the criminal justice and interfaith community, conducted a needs assessment and identified domestic violence as an issue of deep concern. In 1980, these visionary leaders founded the Northern Westchester Shelter, which later became Hope’s Door.

In those early days, we operated a crisis hotline and support services out of the Peekskill YWCA while survivors found safety in the homes of families recruited through the interfaith community.

Within a few years, the emergency shelter program found a home in Pleasantville and program services expanded to meet the needs of survivors. In 1997, the organization purchased and renovated a 16-bed residence where survivors and their children continue to be sheltered to this day.

Over the next ten years, we continued to shelter survivors and to enhance services for them and their children. We also began to focus on the prevalence of teen dating abuse and to commit greater resources to ending the violence and breaking the intergenerational cycle of abuse.

In 2009, we clarified our purpose, revised our mission statement, and initiated a strategic planning process that compelled us to choose a new name to reflect the enhanced scope of our mission and the availability of our services to all of Westchester County. We became Hope’s Door.