CALL CRISIS LINE (563) 556-1100

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.










The mission of the Dubuque Y Crisis Services Program (DYCS) is to provide temporary emergency shelter & supportive services to victimized women and their families, so they have the protection and freedom to live safely in our community.

Our vision is to cultivate a community response that engages in sustainable safety solutions for survivors of violence.

We operate an emergency shelter designed to provide immediate, confidential, and free safety interventions for victims/ survivors of Intimate Partner Violence & Other Violent Crimes committed against women and their children. We have been providing this service to the community since 1978, when the shelter was founded.

Intimate Partner Violence is defined as:

  • A pattern of coercive behavior used by a person to control their intimate partners. It encompasses abusive tactics including, but not limited to, physical and sexual violence; threats of violence; economic, emotional and psychological abuse; and/or the use of privilege.

DYCS defines Intimate Partner relationships as:

  • Partners who are or were formerly married, currently of formerly living together (not as roommates), currently or formerly engaged, currently or formerly dating, or having a child in common in both heterosexual and LBGTQ intimate partner relationships.

Crisis Service Advocates provide emotional support, validation, information, advocacy, resources and safety strategies. Our goal is to ensure that each resident has the ability to make informed decisions and access to streamlined services within our community. All of our services are provided from an empowerment perspective so residents are able to choose whether to participate with any or all of the services provided.


Our community faces an overwhelming need for available services so each resident is offered a 30 day stay. Due to space limitations, single women entering shelter may be asked to share a room, while family rooms are designed to accommodate one family per room. Our communal areas including the lounge, kitchen/dining area, and backyard are for all residents to use and enjoy.

The DYCS offers toiletries and other daily essentials such as diapers, laundry detergent, hygiene products and food items. We do our very best to meet other various needs residents face, but because we rely on the generosity of community donations we cannot accommodate everyone’s situations at all times.


Our Extended Stay Program will allow us to serve up to three families at any given time for up to an additional 90 days beyond their shelter stay. Each family will have their own room, shared bathroom, kitchen and dinette areas, and will be completely separate from our shelter.

Emergency shelter clients that have not been afforded housing vouchers or other community housing program options can apply to stay in our extended stay service for up to an additional 90 days.

Qualifications for this program include barriers to housing like limited employment opportunities, poor rental history, past due utilities, waiting on identifying documents to gain employment, and so on.

Services will be primarily centered around targeting ways to overcome each client’s significant housing barriers, but will also feature intensive case management, volunteer sponsored assigned one on one mentorship, motivational interviewing, financial literacy, community referrals, building life skills, employment readiness and placement assistance and so on. Our goal is that offering this additional time and programing will truly support survivors in their ability to move forward. 


The DYCS operates a 24/7 crisis line that provides confidential support to victims/survivors of intimate partner & other violent crimes who are looking to become or remain safe and anonymous. Our goal is to assist each caller with safety strategies that empower the victim/survivor to make informed choices for themselves or their families. 


Each year we host a fundraiser called Glimmer of Hope, where 100% of the proceeds are invested into our services to ensure ongoing safety options are available for those fleeing from domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please click the link below.

If you would like to make a physical donation, please contact Michelle Ernst, Crisis Services Director, to arrange donation drop-off or to talk further about current needs. Please note that we do not accept donations without an appointment. 








  • 161 survivors were offered 5,812 nights of safety 
  • 1,000 hours of direct advocacy provided to survivors 
  • 1,812 crisis line calls received 
  • 57 days average length of shelter stay 
  • $1,150 average cost per household stay