Letters to the editor: How you can support DVIP’s plans to build a new emergency shelter in Iowa City

News clippings focused on Iowa City’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program were on display at the 2020 Souper Bowl fundraiser. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

By Jillian Nagle, Iowa City

I am excited to share with you that Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) of Iowa has announced they are planning to build a new emergency shelter to better serve the victims and survivors in our Southeastern Iowa Communities.

My name is Jill Nagle, I have been an Iowa City resident for the last 14 years and work in the community as a project manager for a local manufacturing company. I recently got involved with DVIP as a volunteer after learning more about the organization during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. I joined the DVIP force to make an impact on my community and because I know how important it is to improve the resources for domestic violence survivors.

The current DVIP emergency shelter has been serving the Southeastern Iowa Community for over 30 years. The shelter has been at capacity and can no longer meet the increasing demand for safety in our community, making this expansion a necessity. This $6 million project will double the capacity to provide safety to victim survivors. One way this new shelter has been specifically designed to better help victim survivors heal from trauma is the inclusion of pod-style living and private meeting spaces to meet with advocates. DVIP has put years of planning into this new shelter and now it’s our time to join them in the effort.

I urge readers to consider supporting this new emergency shelter. There are various ways to support the cause; you can volunteer your time with DVIP, contribute a monitory pledge, or help to spread the word. Please visit to learn more on how you can help!

By Judy and Jim Houghton, Iowa City

We are writing this letter as strong supporters for building a new domestic violence shelter. Living in Iowa City all our lives, we have been long time supporters of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program. We know how much this organization does to provide much needed refuge for victim survivors. The shelter’s secure environment allows individuals to begin healing by having a safe place to stay and offering counseling services. By supporting DVIP we know we are a part of helping individuals, children and families have an opportunity to start a new life.

However, the need for support and services that victim survivors receive at DVIP is continually rising due to an increase in all forms of abuse. The current shelter helps almost 400 women, men and children each year, but it doesn’t have the capacity to meet the increasing demand for services. And since May of 2020, calls to the hotline have increased by 28 percent. To this day, there are still individuals, children, and families whom are unable to receive the help they need due to the building not having enough room.

To meet this growing demand, DVIP has launched the Finding Safety, Building Hope Campaign to build a new facility that will provide shelter for twice the number of individuals and families as the current shelter. This new shelter will offer space for more victim survivors to have a chance to not only heal but to break the cycle of abuse. We are committed to helping this dream come true and we are asking for your support to help build a larger space to meet the increasing need in our community. Please consider donating to help make this new shelter a reality in 2024.