The Arizona-based non-profit Theresa's Fund has announced plans to launch DomesticShelters.org, a new website that will provide abuse victims, their friends and family, and agencies, with the most comprehensive, searchable database housing more than 300,000 data points on more than 3,000 domestic violence shelters, agencies and programs in the U.S., as well as helpful information and additional resources.
“We discovered that more than 3,000,000 searches are conducted per month – according to Google – for information related to domestic violence, and most often related to seeking help,” said Preston V. McMurry Jr., chairman of the board of Theresa's Fund. “Yet, there isn’t a single, unified online and mobile resource that makes finding help as quick as a click.”
The new website will change that reality, giving consumers the ability to input their location, service needs and language preference, and immediately and at no cost, be presented with the nearest, most appropriate shelters, programs and agencies.
The website will be optimized for smartphone and tablet use, recognizing that consumers are increasingly using their devices to conduct searches. Indeed, the number of local mobile searches is expected to exceed desktop searches by 2015, according to eMarketer.
“When we originally developed the idea for DomesticShelters.org, we heard that all the information anyone would need is already online. But that doesn’t make it easy to use,” added Chris McMurry, a marketing and technology entrepreneur and director of Theresa’s Fund, who also noted that a large number of domestic violence providers lack on online presence altogether. “We’re consolidating a sea of disparate data into one database, supplementing it with information that’s not available online, and making it remarkably easy to access and use.”
The searchable online and mobile data-driven resource will go live this summer. It is believed to be the largest repository of data on U.S. domestic violence providers ever established. Generally speaking, there will be contact information excepting confidential locations, markets served, languages spoken, vacancy rates, and great detail on services offered.
Importantly, provider organizations will be able to self-administer their organization’s profile on the website, updating fundamental information as it evolves and adding custom content to enhance the comprehensiveness and attractiveness of their operation and offerings.
“Given the volume of searches being conducted – some 36,000,000 million a year in just the U.S. – this is an overdue and much-needed concept that may help more people than any other service ever offered in this space, and may help save lives because it will be so easy, accessible and fast to use,” adds Anita Hildreth, executive director of Theresa's Fund.
The website will also publish and supply helpful information about domestic violence, in addition to the provider database. Providers will be able to gain access to the entire database behind the website in order to better coordinate inter-agency referrals and services.
About Theresa’s Fund
Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. Originally, and at a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grant making, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the DomesticShelters.org concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S./Canada. DomesticShelters.org is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.