About Safe Shelter


Prevent. Protect. Change.

Our mission is to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and promote change in lives, families, and our community.

Since 1979, SAFE Shelter has been Savannah’s only shelter dedicated to victims of intimate partner violence and their children under the age of 18.  Open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, the Shelter provides safe, confidential services to all victims of domestic violence.

About Us

In the 1970s, SAFE Shelter was a dream shared by four local women, Lucy Brannan, Norma Brewin, Harris Lentini and Caroline Armstrong. There were shelters in Savannah, but no one place for victims and their children who had to leave their homes to escape the violence.  Through their hard work and determination,  SAFE Shelter was established in 1979.

In 2001, the current SAFE Shelter facility opened.  With 48 beds, it is one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the state of Georgia.  Safety, comfort and healing describe the shelter’s atmosphere. State-of-the-art security surveillance equipment, partnerships with local law enforcement and a dedicated staff keep our families safe. SAFE Shelter is certified through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and is a United Way Agency.  Shelter services provides all at no cost to the victim.

SAFE Shelter does not discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or disability. If you believe you have been the target of discrimination, you have the right to file a civil rights complaint. Information on how to file a civil rights complaint can be found on the Office of Justice Programs website. Click this link to learn more on filing a civil rights complaint.

Staff Advocates

Cheryl H. Branch, Executive Director
Bard Way, Finance Director
Samantha Reid, Funding Development Director
Danyell Wright, Development Assistant (Part-time)
Pat Jones, Shelter Manager
Doretha Rice, Shelter Program Manager
Sheryl King, Follow Up/After Care Program Coordinator
Jessica Scott, Child Advocate
Abbygail Garrett, Community Outreach Specialist/TANF Assessor
Frances Gillison, Community Outreach Coordinator
Marie Williams, Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator
Carmen Batiz-Bien Aime, Legal Advocate
Gabriela Touma, Bi-lingual Legal Advocate
Daphne Walker, Case Manager

Resident Advocates

Imani Ajanku
Doris Bias
Cynthia Bostick
Antoinette Green
Tonya Johnson
Louise Joshua
Terry Kelly
Mary Lockett
Demetris Nixon
Ansley Williams
Sara Wright

Board of Directors

The SAFE Shelter Board of Directors is a voluntary organization.  The Board oversees the administration of the Shelter, and is dedicated to supporting the Shelter through Fundraising and Community Awareness campaigns.

President, SMPD Major Robert Gavin
Vice President, Jennifer Davenport
Treasurer, Jennifer Maddox
Secretary, Agnes Cannella
Ex Officio, Jean Ahrens

Board Members
Wanda Andrews
Lorraine Boice
Monica Burgstiner
Katie K. Chancy
Lyndretta Grindle Cramer
John Harrison
Daniel Jenkins
Toni Marwitz
Lakeya Mitchell
Meg Albertson Pace
Gabrielle Sikes
Cheryl Smith
Chief Julie Tolbert

Honorary Lifetime Member, Paula Dean