THE CARING PLACE is a non-profit social service organization, serving the needs of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Our organization primarily serves victims in Lake, Porter and Starke counties in Northwest Indiana, but may include victims across the country.

Established in 1977 by a group of volunteers in Hobart, Indiana, the agency is now located in Valparaiso.

Because domestic violence can result in psychological as well as physical injury and even death, the State of Indiana has mandated that shelter services must be provided without charge. Therefore, it is not necessary to be in the shelter to receive The Caring Place services.

In addition to safe shelter, The Caring Place provides community education, support groups, legal counseling and case management, independent living planning.

AFFILIATIONS: 

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Lake Area United Way

Lake County Task Force on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Portage Mayor’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Abuse

Sexual Assault Task Force

Starke County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse

Starke United, Inc.

United Way of Porter County

Valparaiso Mayor’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Abuse

PEER REVIEW: 

The agency has successfully completed Peer Review that is required every three years for domestic violence programs to receive funds from the State of Indiana through its Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).

HISTORY:

In the mid 1970s, group of concerned citizens in Hobart, Indiana formed a task force to study the needs of domestic violence victims in the area. Based upon their findings and recommendations, a group of volunteers began raising funds to open a shelter for abused women and their children.

The Caring Place was incorporated in 1978 as a volunteer-operated organization. In April 1979, it began serving victims at the former convent of St. Bridget’s Church in Hobart. Later, the organization rented the Wolf Mansion in Porter County while looking for a place to purchase.

In October 1986, The Caring Place acquired a large farmhouse outside Wheeler. Up until that time, the agency provided temporary shelter, 24-hour crisis intervention and case management services for victims of domestic violence. With the move, the agency also began providing advocacy services to both resident and non-resident victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In the summer of 1990, the shelter moved to its present undisclosed Valparaiso site with a 24-bed capacity.

In 2002, a larger facility was purchased to replace the small house that served as an administrative and community advocacy office. Administrative staff, including the Porter County Sexual Assault Advocate and Legal Services Coordinator, work from the Community Advocacy Center. The building also contains a library, conference room, children’s playroom, reception area, kitchen and large donation storage area. The Community advocates in Lake and Starke counties work from space donated by local churches.

Begun as a volunteer organization, The Caring Place has grown to a staff of more than 24 full- and part-time employees. It has a large base of volunteers who continue to provide thousands of hours of help yearly to victims of domestic and sexual abuse.