Refuge House, Inc.
PO Box 20910
Tallahassee FL 32316
Contact Information
Address PO Box 20910
Tallahassee, FL 32316
Telephone (850) 922-6062
Fax 850 413-0395
Web and Social Media
Donate Directly to this Organization
Donate to this Orgs Endowment Fund at Community Foundation
At A Glance
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
EIN Number 59-1869324
Year of Incorporation 1981
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $2,860,007.00
Projected Expenses $2,710,007.00
Mission Statement
The mission of Refuge House is to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, their children and families, and to eliminate such violence through community education and public advocacy.
Needs Statement
1. Resources for maintaining our residential facilities, including HVAC systems, plumbing, roof repairs, flooring and painting repairs. Currently, we must defer preventive maintainence, completing needed work as resources become available. To complete maintainence tasks consistently and on schedule: $10,000 per year.
2.  Information technology upgrades for clients and staff. Clients rely on agency computers and internet access to apply for employment, seek new apartments and homes, and apply for other benefits. Staff depends on quality hardware and software to enter and retrieve client services data, necessary for effective victim response. Resources needed for upgrades: $8,000. 
3.  Direct client assistance funds for bus passes, gas and car repairs, utility deposits and payments, and other cash resource needs to transition to safe housing. Annual client assistance needs: $6,000.
4.  Free standing, "state of the art" rape crisis forensic exam/advocacy center in Leon County. Annual equipment and occupancy expenses:  $18,000.   
5.  Volunteer coordinator position in the agency to assist in recruiting, training, and coaching community members who wish to support the Refuge House mission. Annual salary and benefits: $34,000/year. 
Impact Statement
2013/14 Major Accomplishments:
1. Provided expanded supportive services for Transitional Housing Program residents- job readiness, financial education, legal, disability services, emotional healing.  Wonderful partnerships with other agencies make these services possible.
2.  Outreach and advocacy services for victims of trafficking and prostitution expanded.
3.  Sexual violence program services expanded to include youth services and community awareness campaign "When She Said No"
4.  Continued to strengthen financial position and sustainability for our Refuge House. 
5.  Over 3,000 people call our hotline reaching out for Refuge House services.  Every call answered with safety planning, crisis intervention, and useful information for victims of abuse. 
2014/15 Goals:
1.  Open a free-standing Rape Crisis Center for acute services for rape victims, including forensic SANE exams and crisis intervention counseling for victims and their families and partners.
2.  Renovation of Transitional Housing Program apartments to assure comfort of residents and integrity of facilities.
3.  New partnerships with DCF to enhance child safety. 
Background Statement
Refuge House was founded in 1978, by community volunteers responding to the need for battered women and their children to have a safe place to go to escape abuse. One of our founders was herself a victim of domestic violence. Another founder had sheltered women and children escaping violence in her own home. Yet another, a victim advocate for the state attorney's office, feared for the safety and lives of victims who had suffered life-threatening attacks. In 1980, Refuge House began providing sexual assault services for our community, and has operated as a "dual" domestic violence/sexual assault program for over 35 years.
Our programs have continually expanded, in both scope and depth, since our founding in 1978. Thoughout the 1990's, our counseling and advocacy services expanded to the seven surrounding counties. In 2000, we opened our second emergency shelter and hotline in Taylor County. The dream of a new Leon County emergency shelter and child care center became a reality in 2003. Our rape crisis services now include 24 hour response teams in Leon County, Taylor County, and Franklin County. The needs of families needing longer term safe housing and supportive counseling are now met by our transitional housing program, serving up to 75 women and children for up to two years. Our programs now serve thousands of survivors and their families every year. 
Our program services are provided and managed by over 50 dedicated, trained advocates and professionals, led by a committed Board of Directors. Our agency, and the success of our mission, continues to depend on the support of our community, from our founding through today-support for which we are both grateful and proud.  
Service Categories
Family Violence Shelters and Services
Sexual Assault Services
Women's Rights
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Refuge House serves the largest geographic area of any state-certified domestic violence or sexual assault program in Florida.
Board Chair Statement
I was greatly honored to accept the Board's election of me as President of the Refuge House Board.  Since a very young age I have had a great calling to victims of sexual and domestic violence.  This desire to advocate began with my law enforcement career in 1982, when I was told I would make a great cop but they already had one woman on each squad!  Chief William Tanner hired me anyway.
During my early years I arrested bad guys who didn't know what NO meant and who beat their wife so badly the women apologized for looking so bad.  I remember the abuser yelling back to his wife as he was arrester-- "how could you do this to me?"  I quickly said "I'm doing this to you on behalf of the people of the state of Florida.  The people that say this is a crime against society."
I know the services the Refuge House provides for victims of sexual and domestic violence are so valuable to our communities and to my profession.  I am committed to raise the resources we need to provide this support to our communities.  I am committed to making the only stress our Refuge House staff has to bear, the stress of their clients and not the stress of how to make ends meet.  That is our task as board members.
Our motto this year- Funding freedom for those in fear.
Captain Joani Chase, Ret.
CEO Statement/Executive Director Statement
Every day, Refuge House stands side-by-side with survivors of abuse and trauma, as they reach out for safety, to rebuild their lives, and to seek justice.  Refuge House is the only agency in the Big Bend region certified to provide these services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Our programs are founded on the principles of empowerment and survivor self-determination, and are provided with highest regard for the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of the survivor.
We serve survivors from highly diverse backgrounds and circumstances, from every economic background, culture, religion, and nationality.  As domestic and sexual violence become globalized, so too has our agency become internationalized, a safe place for victims from Mexico, Guatemala, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kenya, Leganon, China and Laos.  Our incredible staff assures that Refuge House will truly be a place of safety, of healing, and support for every victim of domestic or sexual violence reaching out for recovery and justice.  I am so proud to have the honor to serve as our beloved agency's director, alongside our staff and with the support of our Board leadership.
Description The Refuge House 24-hour hotlines offer victims of domestic violence and sexual assault crisis intervention, safety planning, counseling, and referrals. Our hotlines also serve as the gateways to all Refuge House services for survivors in need. Friends, family members, and partner agencies are also invited to call for information on how to provide support to a person believed to be abused.  Callers are invited to call as many times as they wish. Hotline staffs are located in both Leon and Taylor Counties.
Budget $141,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Females, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Short Term Success
Callers in crisis will leave the call with improved capacity to address stressful circumstances in their lives, a plan for their immediate safety, and information about additional resources.
Long term Success
The Refuge House Hotline Program provides crisis ontervention, safety planning, and program referrals for 100% of callers seeking these services. 
Program Success Monitored By
Each hotline call is recorded in an electronic database for supervisor review and consultation. Each caller is asked at the end of the call what she/he achieved in the course of the call, and if there are additional issues to be addressed. Hotline advocate performance is monitored by external monitors (the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence) and internal quality assurance protocols.  
Examples of Program Success
A woman under present attack by her husband called our hotline, as she tried to protect herself from his blows by crawling under a car. Our hotline advocate reassured the caller, contacted 911 while remaining on the call, and assisted the caller in recording the atacker's threats. Law enforcement arrived moments later and arrested the abuser. The victim and her child came into emergency shelter for services thereafter.   
Description Safe, confidential emergency shelter is available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, who have no other safe housing option. While in shelter, residents are supported in reaching their safety, housing, employment, transportation, and child care goals, have access to counseling and peer support, and receive emergency food, clothing and supplies. Transitional housing, including supportive counseling, employment assistance, and child care, is available for survivors and their children for up to two years.
Budget $1,065,150.00
Category Housing, General/Other Emergency Shelter
Population Served At-Risk Populations, Victims, Families
Short Term Success
Individuals and families who are in peril of lethal violence or serious injury have a safe sanctuary, and are not injured or killed wihile in residence at Refuge House.
Long term Success
Access to safe shelter is a critical resource for vicitms of domestic violence escaping abuse and reaching out for a new life. 
Program Success Monitored By
Safety is the primary outcome of both our emergency shelter and transitional housing programs.
Examples of Program Success
Victims of abuse who receive services through the Refuge House residential program report overwhelmingly that these services were necessary as a first step toward a life free from abuse for themselves and their children.
The Refuge House Rape Crisis/Sexual Violence Program provides supportive services for victims of sexual assault, from the immediate aftermath of a sexual attack, through the criminal justice process, to longer term counseling and therapy. Our 24 hour hotlines coordinate 24 hour rape crisis response teams in Leon, Taylor and Franklin Counties, including a rape criris advocate and nurses specially trained to provide forensic "rape kit" exams. Follow up support including counseling, additional medical screening, and law enforcement/prosecutor's office advocacy is available to all victims. Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse provided counseling, therapy, and support group assistance. 
Budget $335,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Females, Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered, Males
Short Term Success 95% of victims will receive forensic exams, initial crisis intervention counseling, and information about additional services available.
Long term Success
The impact of sexual assault includes increased risks of suicide, mental health/PTSD impairments, loss of employment, social isolation, and loss of basic trust in other people. Immediate supportive, non-judgmental communication and care rebuilds the victim's belief in herself and others, and increases the victim's resiliency in healing from the attack. For victims receiving Refuge House services, 60% of these will maintain basic life activities, including social interactions, school, and employment within 6 months of an attack, and 100% will experience human support through counseling and advocacy.
Program Success Monitored By
Our rape crisis and sexual violence services meet or exceed all state Department of Health/Florida Council Against Sexual Violence program certification and monitoring standards. Forensic nursing quailfications meet all standards established by the International Association of Forensic Nurses.  Each survivor is asked to provide program evaluation feedback by questionnaire.
Examples of Program Success
Refuge House provided rape crisis services to the largest number of rape survivors in 2011/12 in the agency's history. One woman who came into a shelter after having been raped continues to receive counseling from Refuge House. She has rebuilt her relationship with her family, and is assisting law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting a person alleged to be a very dangerous offender. She has healed herself, her family, and is helping to heal her community as well. 
Domestic violence and sexual assault are attacks that can cause confusion, distress, and disturbance across a person's daily life, sometimes for many years. The Refuge House Outreach Counseling Program offers survivors a safe and supportive relationship with a trained counselor or therapist to sort out feelings, address immediate safety concerns, develop strategies for coping with school, job, family, medical, and legal issues, and address long-term healing needs. Refuge House offers free and confidential counseling at safe office locations across the Big Bend. This service is provided during times that are convenient for the survivor. Individual counseling is available at all locations; support groups as scheduled. Counseling is available in Spanish. There is a courthouse office in Leon County.
Budget $505,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Personal Social Services
Population Served Females, Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered
Short Term Success
For domestic violence survivors, the most important immediate goal is for the survivor to develop a safety plan. This is developed in consultation with a trained counselor. 100% of victims in our Outreach Counseling Program are assisted in developing a safety plan. The immediate goal is ordinarily to assist the sexual assault survivor to create an initial relationship with the counselor, and address feelings that may range from numbness to overwhelming fear. 100% of sexual assault survivors are assisted with crisis intervention and immediate contact.    
Long term Success
Survivors gain access to tools, resoureces, and support necessary for meeting life-changing goals of escaping violence, and healing from trauma. 100% of participants are empowered with information about the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault, receive supportive guidance and resources for making change in theit lives.
Program Success Monitored By
Counseling programs meet or exceed standards set by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.  Licensed therapists meet or exceed all state license requirements. Clients are asked to complete evaluation assessments. Files are reviewed continually for quality assurance and standards compliance.
Examples of Program Success
A promising university student became the victim of dating violence and sexual assault by a fellow student. The violence became so severe and threatening that the victim entered emergency shelter to escape. After leaving emergency shelter, the victim continued to receive supportive counseling through our Outreach Counseling Program in Leon County. She is now back in school, assisted with scholarships that our counselor helped her find and apply for, and a very proud "alumna" of Refuge House. 
Our Refuge House mission includes both providing useful direct services to vicitms, and working to end domestic violence and sexual assault through community education and public advocacy. Our mission of ending violence is promoted through our Community Education Program, offering comprehensive education and training in schools, professional groups, social and civic clubs, and church organizations. Every year, Refuge House provides community education to over 5,000 audience members.  
Budget $93,000.00
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Women's Rights
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Adults, Males
Short Term Success
Our educators employ pre- and post-test tools to evaluate changes in knowledge and acceptance of violence that occur as a result of our education curricula. 80% of students indicate positive changes in information and beliefs related to violence as a result of Refuge House education curricula.
Long term Success
The goal of the Refuge House Community Education Program is to empower our community with information and resources that will reduce and ultimately end domestic and sexual violence. Our primary focus is on youth education, on the belief that changing sterotypes and social assumptions about gender and power early in life has the greatest community impact over time. We structue our school programs with the goal of reaching 75% of the high school age population in our region before graduation.
Program Success Monitored By
Student pre-and post-test results; sexual violence curricula approved by the Florida Department of Health and domestic violence curricula, and by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  
Examples of Program Success
At a recent Domestic Violence Awareness event in Taylor County, a prominent citizen who attended the event reported that he had never before appreciated how widespread and serious the probelm of domestic violence is in his community. Before the event ended, he stood up and committed a local service organization's support for the goal of addressing domestic violence in the community in the coming year.   
Program Comments
CEO Statement/Executive Director/Board Comments
Domestic and sexual violence is lethal, toxic, and pervasive in our community. Our programs strive to meet the needs of survivors, and to support our community's commitment to ending violence, with both heart and wisdom. We thank the community for the opportunity to serve survivors and our future in these ways.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Gwenn Thomas CPA
Company Affiliation Retired
Term July 2014 to June 2015
Board Members
Georgia Cappleman Chief Assistant State Attorney, Second Judicial District
Caroline Collins Florida Department of Health
Margaret Cooksey Tallahassee Community College
Captain Darrell Furuseth Deputy ChiefTallahassee Police Department
Julie Gallagher Akerman Senterfitt
Eli Nortelus Akerman Senterfitt
Priscilla Quinones JDOffice of the Attorney General
Chad Sasser Advisor, J. Smith Lanier & Co.
Becky Sauers Becky Sauers Golf
Gwenn Thomas CPACommunity Volunteer
Joseph Tidwell CPAAccountant, James D.A. Holley & Co.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 79%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Crime Coverage
Day Care Center/Nursery School
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employee Dishonesty
Employment Practices Liability
General Property Coverage and Professional Liability
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Inland Marine and Mobile Equipment
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Professional Liability
Property in Transit and Off Premises
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Workplace Violence
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO Comments
Professionally facilitated agency evaluation and strategic plan completed in 2011.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Meg Baldwin JD
Term Start June 2005
Meg Baldwin has served as Executive Director of Refuge House since 2005.  Before coming to Refuge House, Meg was an Associate Professor of Law at the Florida State University College of Law, specializing in women's rights, civil rights, and violence against women. Meg serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, and served on the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Advisory Committee on Trafficking, the Florida Supreme Counrt Gender Bias Commission Implementation Committee, and on the Board of Directors of Refuge House.
Former CEOs
Kelly Otte June 1996 - Feb 2005
Lynn Rosenthal June 1993 - May 1996
Senior Staff
Title Assistant Director
Emily Mitchem has served as Assistant Director at Refuge House since October, 2009.  Emily served previously as the Refuge House Outreach Program Director for Leon County, and as Sexual Violence Outreach Counselor.  Before coming to Refuge House, Emily served as a substance abuse counselor in programs serving incarcerated women. 
Title Chief Financial Officer
Dean Hilton has served as Chief Financial Officer for Refuge House since October, 2008.  Before coming to Refuge House, Dean served as CFO for the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend, the Advocacy Center for Persons With Disabilities, and DISC Village.  Dean also worked for 11 years in the private accounting sector prior to committing him talents to non-profit accounting roles.   
Full Time Staff 40
Part Time Staff 13
Volunteers 40
Contractors 5
Retention Rate 97%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2011
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
BrotherPeace Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to Meg BaldwinNational Organization of Men Against Sexism (NOMAS)2011
Warrior for Women Award, awarded to Meg BaldwinFlorida Council Against Sexual Violence2008
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2014
Fiscal Year End June 30 2015
Projected Revenue $2,860,007.00
Projected Expenses $2,710,007.00
Endowment Value $14,542.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 4%
Form 990s
Audit or In-House Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Dtermination
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$1,783,274$1,909,382$0
Individual Contributions$616,884$633,048$649,874
Investment Income, Net of Losses--$0$0
Membership Dues--$0$0
Special Events--$0$0
Revenue In-Kind--$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$2,311,906$2,483,169$2,337,599
Administration Expense$352,367$310,845$296,079
Fundraising Expense--$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.971.000.93
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%89%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$4,212,837$4,332,937$4,361,095
Current Assets$512,864$534,567$580,486
Long-Term Liabilities$2,091,196$213,899$2,081,056
Current Liabilities$324,857$320,590$400,606
Total Net Assets$1,796,784$1,873,351$1,879,433
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.581.671.45
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets50%5%48%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Organization Comments
Refuge House makes continual progress in financial stability and accountability. CFO is experienced nonprofit CPA.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial figures were taken from the audits.
  • Contributions from foundations and corporations are included with total for individuals, as they are not separated in the audit or 990.
  • Top 3 funding sources are not reflected above as they are not indicated in the audit or 990.
  • Has an Endowment at the Community Foundation.
Additional Documents
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Nonprofit Refuge House, Inc.
Address PO Box 20910
Tallahassee, FL 32316
Primary Phone 850 922-6062
Donate with a credit card
Donate to Endowment Fund at Community Foundation
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Meg Baldwin JD
Board Chair Mrs. Gwenn Thomas CPA
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Year of Incorporation 1981