Every day is busy for Amanda, the coordinator of a midwestern shelter for victims of domestic violence. This is the only organization in the entire county doing this vital work, which means more often than not, when a situation arises and she needs to be there to assist, it’s with very little time to prepare and make proper arrangements.
Though they’ve been there to help women, children, and men fleeing domestic violence situations for the last 38 years, her organization has only had an operational shelter since 2007. The shelter serves nearly 1,400 people each year, who they receive in various states of distress and need. The common denominator among all of them is that they have nowhere else to go, but need to be somewhere safe as quickly as possible.
Of course, not everyone comes alone; many cases that come across Amanda’s desk concern someone attempting to flee a spouse with their children in tow, which means finding accommodations that can support all of them at once. Not always an easy task when you’re already juggling a number of other cases and the shelter is near capacity.
Amanda’s shelter is able to house up to 21 people at a time. In order to maximize their space as efficiently as possible, they’ve been utilizing bunk beds from the beginning. When the shelter was built 12 years ago, they brought in some twin size wooden bunk beds. Now, when you’re serving a broad and diverse community, you’re bound to see people of all shapes, sizes, and styles. This includes kids and teenagers with a lot of restless energy. After just a few years of aggressive wear and tear, the wooden bunk beds simply weren’t holding up the way Amanda and the rest of her team had hoped they would.
As the degradation of the beds began to become more of a problem and potential safety concern, Amanda started researching some alternatives. In order to continue serving as many people as possible, she once again sought out bunk beds designed for adults, but this time, she had more experience to draw upon. Amanda knew that she needed something that could hold a lot of weight and stand up against the rigors of hosting a couple hundred different people each year.
She found Francis Lofts & Bunks and our heavy duty bunk beds pretty early in her search, and after a brief flirtation with some other options, quickly determined that we provided the exact bunk bed product she needed. With a 2,000 pound weight capacity and a solid foundation built from high quality American aluminum, our beds were the only ones that appeared to have what it takes to serve her shelter.
Over the last couple years, Amanda has started replacing the roughed up wooden bunks with our beds. Each time a new one arrives, the shelter staff is able to easily assemble and set up the bunk beds. So far, they have been holding up in “fantastic” fashion, according to Amanda. Most importantly, they’ve provided her with the peace of mind of knowing the people she is giving people somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep while they stay at the shelter. It’s one small thing removed from her very full plate, saving her time and energy that she can put toward the people that need it.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, we urge you to get help immediately. For assistance, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.