LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Little Rock domestic violence and abuse shelter is seeing an increase in people coming in during the summer months, however, they’re getting creative in order to not turn anyone away. 

The Women and Children First Shelter  Assistant Director LaKese Henry says it helps domestic violence survivors build a new life for themselves and their families. 

“When they do come into our program they are learning how to take their power back,” said Henry. 

However, Henry says they only have 54 beds as of now they are all taken this summer because more families are reaching out for help. 

“School is out, victims are taking that courage to leave an unhealthy environment, families tend to move around during the summertime,” said Henry. 

Henry says they are getting creative to make room for everyone. 

“If it means that we turn our sunroom into a bedroom, we do. If it means that we turn our office space, we will. Also, we place families in surrounding hotels,” said Henry. 

Although the temporary safe haven is crowded, shelter advocates like Transitional Housing Coordinator Lekita Colclough said they make sure to work with those at the shelter so they can start a new beginning and have space for future survivors. 

“In those 45 days we kind of do case management to see what their transition plan is,” said Colclough.  

If survivors need a longer stay passed the shelter’s 45 to 60 days deadline, Henry says that’s where teamwork comes in. 

“We work with other homeless programs in the community to find additional support because they may need that,” said Henry. 

A University of Central Arkansas counselor, James Guinee says if people think or feel like they are in a domestic violence situation the best thing is to talk to someone about it and reach out for help. 

The Women and Children First Shelter crisis hotline number is 501-376-3219.