In the mid 1970s, the problem of domestic violence was brought to the attention of the community of Butte County by a group of local therapists. These therapists worked with victims of domestic violence in their private practices and provided emergency shelter for them and their children in their own homes. But as the need for shelter steadily increased, they could no longer accommodate all who needed their assistance.
In the fall of 1977, through the dedicated efforts of its founders, Catalyst was incorporated. The growing demand for shelter was met through the use of "safe houses"- families who were approved through a screening process to provide a room in their own homes for women and their children fleeing violent homes. In 1984, Catalyst became a United Way Member Agency and in 1985 with the assistance of United Way and City of Chico opened HAVEN, a 12 bed confidential shelter. In 1990, the shelter was expanded to 17 beds, and in the spring of 1997, Catalyst further expanded HAVEN to include office space for shelter staff. Catalyst maintained this facility until very recently when we completed our new safe housing facilities. These new facilities include the HAVEN, a 28-bed temporary residence for victims of domestic violence and their children who are at immediate risk and four Cottages, transitional housing units for single families to reside for up to eighteen months.
Our agency continues to build and maintain our community based partnerships to better meet the needs of victims and build a seamless support system for victims in Butte and Glenn Counties. The agency maintains partnerships with all law enforcement agencies, Victim Witness, the District Attorney's office, local schools and various social service organizations and county programs all with the goal of addressing issues of domestic violence and improving services.
Today, Catalyst is a private, not-for-profit corporation administered by a seven-member board of directors. The agency continues to be the sole certified provider of crisis intervention services for victims of domestic violence and their children. Our mission is "to prevent and reduce the incidence of domestic violence. . .by intervening in the cycle of violence through crisis intervention and community education". We subscribe to a client empowerment model building on the self-identified strengths of our clients. Catalyst provides a range of domestic violence intervention and prevention services. These services include, but are not limited to, assistance through a 24-hour crisis line, emergency safe shelter and transitional housing, transportation, food, and clothing. Catalyst also provides group and individual counseling for adults and children, assistance with restraining orders, court and mediation accompaniment, children's' services, social service advocacy and referral, community education, school based dating violence prevention curriculum and programs, training and technical assistance, participation on Butte Family Violence Prevention Council.
As an agency we value:
- Understanding the diversity of the human experience
- Creating and promoting safe, non-violent environments
- Engaging in and modeling healthy relationships
- Personal responsibility
- An environment that promotes learning and growth
- Caring for Ourselves and Others
- Consistent and effective service delivery
- Collaboration and Teamwork
- Violence Prevention
- Healthy Communication
- History, Voice, and Expertise
- Commitment to Social Change