All Services Are Important

Harbor House opened its doors in 1976 as an unassuming home with a very special door. A single knock could save a life because when the door opened, someone seeking safe haven found it. In the decades since, we have expanded our offerings to provide critical and life-saving services to support survivors and all lives impacted by abuse in our community, from start to finish, and beyond in one’s journey to hope and healing.

Our emergency shelter has grown to house more than 120 people at a time. After we complete our current renovation, Harbor House will provide safe haven to even more individuals – women, men, children, and pets – making us the largest domestic violence shelter in the state of Florida. The emergency shelter expansion is imperative for providing safety to survivors in Orange County and in meeting the needs for the increasing demand of domestic abuse services.

More than 900 survivors, over half of which were children, found safety in our emergency shelter last fiscal year. We provided 31,115 emergency shelter bed nights for women, children, and men while hosting 74 pets in our on-site kennel. Our agency provided 23,314 hours of adult and youth counseling to those staying in our emergency shelter and to 7,322 outreach participants. In total, Harbor House impacted 37,708 lives by providing 111,007 free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence.

If we look beyond the numbers, we see impactful stories of renewal and hope, like Cecelia. Cecelia* was one of 909 survivors who lived in our emergency shelter last year. She fled from South Florida to Orlando with her two children after suffering many years of physical, emotional, psychological, and financial abuse from the father of her children. Upon relocating to Orange County, Cecelia contacted Harbor House and was provided safe haven in our emergency shelter.

Cecelia was determined to break the cycle of abuse and fully utilized the free and confidential wraparound services at Harbor House, including counseling and support groups, economic empowerment classes, court advocacy, pet services, and more. After being in shelter for two months, Cecelia’s case manager and our Economic Justice Housing Coordinator advocated for their family to be placed in our transitional housing program, allowing them a safe home for one year, completely free to them. This opportunity allowed Cecelia and her family to save enough money to afford a new car, a down payment on a house, and savings to continue living a life free of violence.

At Harbor House, it is our vision to be a leader in transforming all lives impacted by domestic abuse. We are doing so through our mission of striving to prevent and break the cycle of domestic abuse through empowerment-based programs, advocacy, education, and community involvement. At Harbor House, we understand that every survivor’s story is different and because of that, each survivors’ needs vary. Some survivors call our crisis line seeking shelter for fear of their life and some survivors reach out only needing counseling. We are here to meet survivors and their needs wherever they are. All Harbor House services are free and confidential. If you or someone you know is being abused, please call or text our 24/7 confidential hotline at 407-886-2856 or email us at

*Name changed to protect identity.