Welcome to the Institute for Shelter Care

The Institute for Shelter Care is The Samaritan Women‘s education and research division. With over twelve years of experience in the field of anti-trafficking, we are leveraging what we have learned to create original curriculum that teaches organizations serving victims of commercial sexual exploitation how to create a qualified and sustainable shelter program on top of strong organizational foundations. We also produce original research products to further inform the field on best practices in shelter services. Read on to learn about the variety of ways the Institute is advancing the field and promoting greater access to qualified, compassionate care for victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

“Quality research for  shelter programs by shelter programs.”


TSW has always had a passion for serving survivors in a way that is informed by quality research. Since producing the first PRACTICES report in 2017 to learn more about the common programmatic and organizational practices among shelters, we have dedicated ourselves to increasing access to informative research for direct service providers. The Institute for Shelter Care now studies both the national landscape of shelters and how to optimize access to those services, as well as best practices within a program for survivors of sexual exploitation.

You can find out more about the shelter landscape and browse our library of research reports through the Institute Research and Standards section in the navigation menu at the top of the page.


In 2019 The Institute for Shelter Care piloted the Shelter Mentoring Program with our first cohort of four start-up shelter organizations. Mentees in our program work together through a one-year intensive training where they learn the basics of starting a shelter from the ground up, all the way through to opening the doors of their shelter and serving their specific population. After that, they have continued access to mentoring and consulting services from the Institute, as well as to our growing library of educational resources.

We believe in being life-long-learners, and know that there are breakthroughs and innovations in shelter care all the time. To help shelters keep up to date, we also make some educational materials available to existing organizations.

To find out more about the Shelter Mentoring Program and educational resources, visit the Institute Education and Training section in the navigation menu at the top of the page.

Get Involved

Whether you are interested in starting a shelter for the first time or want to contribute to the Institute’s research or education efforts, there is a way for you to get involved. To find out more about being a part of the Institute, visit the Institute Get Involved section in the navigation menu at the top of the page.