24 Hour Hotline: 1-845-471-3033

Grace Smith House


An Open Door for Victims of Domestic Violence

Say No to
Domestic Violence
Saying No
Shouldn't Hurt
We are an Open
Door for Domestic
Violence Survivors

Our Shelters

Grace Smith House operates two residential emergency shelters for women and their children.
Both shelters are staffed and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"The Mary Lou Heissenbuttel Residence" (MLHR)
24-hour Hotline: 845-471-3033

Purchased and renovated in 1993, the MLHR represented the agency's first expansion from 17 shelter beds to 20 and offered upgraded accommodations for both shelter residents and staff. Mary Lou Heissenbuttel, the first Executive Director of Grace Smith House, Inc., served the agency from its inception in 1981 through 13 groundbreaking years of establishing domestic violence services for women and children in Dutchess County. To honor Mary Lou's vision, commitment and extraordinary leadership, the new shelter was given her name on the occasion of her retirement in 1994.

"The Northeast Residence" (NES)
24-hour Hotline: 845-471-3033

The Northeast Shelter or "NES" opened in 1996 in response to a perceived need for services in more rural areas of Dutchess County. The facility has communal dining and living areas and accommodates up to 10 women and children at a time. Its smaller, more rural setting provides a homier atmosphere and an enhanced sense of safety for families.

Families who come into shelter are usually assigned a room to themselves; singles generally share a room. Each shelter has communal dining, living and recreation areas along with separate areas for staff to meet privately with residents. Residents share cooking and cleaning responsibilities and are expected to attend mandatory groups at various times during the week. Children's programming is also available for infants and toddlers through pre-teens and adolescents.

Women and their dependent children who are victims of physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, economic, or threatened abuse by the person with whom they live or have lived in the past are candidates for shelter. It is not required that the victim be residing with the abuser at the time of the incident. The two main criteria are that they need safety from an intimate partner or family member who is abusing them and that Grace Smith House has beds available.

Women of any age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or national group use Shelter services. Ages served are from newborn to 16 with their mother. Adults (emancipated) vary from age 16 to 70. Both residences are handicapped-accessible. The maximum length of shelter stay is 90 days. The average length of stay is 1 to 4 weeks.