Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions First Step frequently receives that we hope will provide a better understanding about our shelter and services.

Q. How do I contact First Step?

11002002470We encourage anyone seeking our services to call us on our hotline at
540-434-0295.  We are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer phone calls. You may also email us at for more information; however, our email account is checked once per day.



Q. Do you shelter homeless individuals with no domestic violence?

Our primary service population are individuals and families who are currently fleeing domestic and dating violence or who have recently experienced abuse.  However, at times when we have plenty of space available, we will accept women in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County areas who are experiencing homelessness.

Q. Do you shelter women with no children?

Yes. In addition sheltering survivors with children; we offer shelter to survivors of domestic and dating violence who do not have children or who do not have their children with them.

Q. Do you provide rental assistance?

First Step has a very limited amount of temporary rental assistance offered to guests staying at our shelter through our rapid rehousing program.  Survivors and their children staying at our shelter will meet with our Housing and Employment Advocate in order to receive this assistance when it is available.

Q. Are rooms single or dormitory style?

The rooms at First Step are dormitory style, which means they are shared with other individuals or families.  We have two rooms for families and one room for individuals with no children.  We also have one room which is reserved in the case of an emergency, a teenage boy staying at the shelter with his parent, or for a male survivor of domestic and dating violence.

Q. Do you have a support group and is childcare provided during group?

Our support group meets on Monday evenings at 5pm unless there is a holiday.  Support group is closed and confidential, which means it is only available to survivors of domestic and dating violence.  Support group is not limited those staying at our shelter; survivors in the community are welcome to attend, but please call ahead before your first attendance.  Childcare is provided during support group with age appropriate activities facilitated by our Child and Youth Advocate and the Children’s Program Services Assistant.