Genieve Shelter grows, seeks donations

Published 9:47 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Genieve Shelter expanded in September 2015, adding eight additional beds to serve domestic violence victims across western Hampton Roads.

Now the shelter is asking for the community’s help to furnish four new three-room units and replace aging bedroom furniture, according to Executive Director Marleisa Montgomery.

The shelter needs vinyl flooring remnants that are at least 12-by-12-feet; 12 new mattresses, preferably vinyl-covered; and 12 bedbug-resistant plastic mattress covers.


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The shelter could also use a new van to transport clients to medical and legal appointments and job interviews, Montgomery added.

Last year, the Genieve Shelter provided 4,761 nights of shelter assistance to domestic violence victims, Montgomery said.

“We appear on track to double that number this year,” said Emily Brewer, a member of the shelter’s board of directors.

The shelter has 28 beds, serves men and women and has a coverage area that includes Suffolk, Franklin, Smithfield and Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surry counties. Services include providing emergency shelter, crisis hotline services, food and emergency supplies, court accompaniment and counseling and workforce training.

Over the past year, the shelter has seen an 8-percent spike in the number of single, middle-aged women seeking services, Montgomery said. They typically range in age from 50 to 68, often have grown children and may have been stay-at-home mothers or have limited educations.

“These women have a real hard time getting services,” Montgomery said. “They have stayed home, raised their children and may have suffered years of abuse before trying to escape and start over.

“Then the age factor kicks in,” she said. Last year, the demographic jumped from 2 to 8 percent of the shelter’s overall population.

The shelter is also holding domestic abuse education training for volunteers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 5-6 at Lake Prince Woods, Montgomery said. To comply with accreditation standards, volunteers have to log 40 hours of domestic violence education training.

Once trained, volunteers will have opportunities to work directly with clients, she said.

Anyone interested in donating or signing up for training should call the shelter at 925-4365 or via email, at