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History Learn about our long-standing commitment.

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 dedicate 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 from violent homes.

In 1984, Catalyst became a United Way Member Agency and in 1985, with the assistance of the 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 2010 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, and four Cottages, transitional housing units for single families to reside for up to 18 months. In 2015, Catalyst increased the number of beds available to thirty-two in order to accommodate male-identifying survivors of abuse and their children.

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 and survivors in Butte County. 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 in Butte County. Our mission is “to prevent and reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence through crisis intervention services, community education, and the promotion of healthy relationships.”

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