Commonly Asked Questions
What is Ernestine’s?
Ernestine’s is a big big house where many women and their children go to live to be safe and treated respectfully.
Why do women and children live here?
Because someone has hurt them. This hurt could be with hitting or with words and the home they are living in now is no longer safe.
Is it my fault that we had to leave?
No…It is never the fault of a child. Never Never Never!
Will I stay in the shelter forever?
No, you won’t stay forever. You and your mom will stay in the shelter until we help mom find your own new home to live in (we are very good at this).
Can I come to the shelter without my mother?
Maybe. All children under the age of 16 should be coming to Ernestine’s with their mothers. Girls and women who are 16 years old and over and fleeing violence should call our crisis line to find out if Ernestine’s is the right place for you.
Will I be the only kid living in the shelter?
No, there are many children and youth living in the shelter who come with their mothers.
Can I still go to school?
Yes, we value your education as much as you do and it is your right to go. What will possibly change is the school you go to now. It may not be safe for you to go to the same school. If you change schools you will go to the same school with most of the children already living in the shelter.
What does a day in the shelter look like for a kid?
- Wake up for school
- Eat your breakfast
- Brush your teeth/wash your face
- Head to school/daycare
- Have a great day at school/daycare
- Come back home to the shelter
- Wash up
- Have snack
- Join the homework club
- Depending on the night you may join a children’s program, have free play in the living area, go on the computers, or meet with a child and youth program staff
- We have also have different and special evening and weekend activities for kids
I am 9 and my sister is 5 will we be together in the children’s programs?
You may spend some time together but will also have your individual time to work on different activities. If you are worried about not being with your sister then we will make sure that you have time together until you are comfortable with doing activities on your own.
Will I have my own bedroom?
No, you will share your room with your family but you will have your own bed.
Will I have contact with my friends & family?
We support you to keep relationships you have with your school friends and others important to you. We will work with mom to help plan for life in the shelter.