Safety, Shelter, Support

Asheville, NC   |


Helpmate works with our community to eliminate abuse and fear by providing safety, shelter, and support for people who have been victimized by domestic violence.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

April Burgess-Johnson

Main address

PO Box 2263

Asheville, NC 28802 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We work to eliminate abuse and fear by providing safety, shelter, and support for people who have been victimized by domestic violence in Buncombe County, NC. In addition, we provide prevention services by working with students in every public middle and high school in the county to teach about healthy relationships. We answer our 24/7 Hotline over 3,000 times a year, often responding to desperate pleas for help by people in life threatening situations. We work closely with law enforcement professionals and all area organizations aligned with our mission to provide streamlined access to services. Our secure residential shelter is available for those in imminent danger. Case managers assist with long term planning as requested by survivors. Counseling services are available by licensed professionals. Court advocacy professionals work with those involved in court proceedings (restraining orders, etc.). English and Spanish available, all services are free of charge to survivors.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Crisis Stabilization Program

The Crisis Stabilization Program provides danger assessment, emergency safety planning, hotline response, safe shelter with case management to assist victims of domestic violence seeking safety from violent living situations. Through our 24-hour Hotline, staffed by highly trained volunteers and Helpmate staff members, clients receives immediate support, information, referral, and danger assessment and safety plans as appropriate. The 24/7 hotline serves as the gateway to all of Helpmate’s other service programs. Safety Plans vary from client to client, but include the issues identified in the Danger Assessment, an inventory of public and social support systems available to the survivor, consultation regarding applicable legal remedies, basic crisis counseling, and advocacy in addressing immediate barriers to physical safety. Emergency case plans may involve the family moving into our emergency shelter.

Population(s) Served

Helpmate's Crisis Counseling and Case Management program provides essential free, bilingual support to help victims recover from the emotional and practical traumas caused by domestic violence. Counselors help each survivor develop a personal goal plan that guides their therapy and address impacts of trauma, such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse, as well as broader personal growth goals. Therapy courses are generally 8-12 sessions, but can be extended if needed. Connections are made with other providers if long-term needs are present. Case managers work with survivors to address the day-to-day impacts of domestic violence, such as need for stable housing, employment disruptions, and transportation needs. Each survivor forms a personal goal plan, and case managers help them to gather resources to progress toward their goals. Psycho-educational, support and life skill-building groups will be offered regularly to provide additional avenues for information and connection.

Population(s) Served

Helpmate's Court Advocacy program provides assistance enabling victims of domestic violence to access protection through the civil and criminal justice systems. Our Court Advocacy Coordinator and Court Advocate are based in the new Buncombe County Judicial Complex, where they assist victims with filing Domestic Violence Protective orders, Civil No-Contact Orders or filing criminal warrants against abusers. They attend civil and criminal domestic violence court, acting as a liaison for victims who need support from the District Attorney, Clerk of Court, Magistrate or Law Enforcement agencies. Survivors are assisted with forming individual safety plans, completing referrals to Pisgah Legal Services for those needing legal representation, and case management is provided for survivors with other service coordination needs.
Victims are educated about courtroom process and decorum, evidence collection for pro se cases and community resources.

Population(s) Served

Helpmate provides a variety of education programs in the community and each is tailored to specific audiences, so much so that the content and duration of each educational opportunity varies. Community and “at risk” groups routinely receive information about the cycle of violence, theories of power and control, the red flags of abusive behavior, and resources that are available to victims in need. Professional education is tailored to each vocation, but generally includes information about appropriate ways to intervene and refer to Helpmate and other support systems in the community. Helpmate is currently a partner on a grant funded through the US Office on Women’s Health to support training for healthcare providers to help them better screen and respond to domestic violence disclosed in healthcare settings.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Ultimately, we seek to put this organization out of business by eliminating abuse in our community. We realize that is a lofty goal. In the meantime, we seek to provide safety, shelter, and support for those in life threatening situations, and for those experiencing physical, mental, or emotional abuse. Our goals include educating the public where they live, work, play and worship so that those in need of our services (1 in 3 women) will know there is help available. Our goals also include educating young people, especially young men, about healthy relationships so we see fewer perpetrators of abuse in the future.

1. Saving lives: 24/7 availability for those in need, including the strong support of law enforcement\n2. Educating the public about domestic violence\n3. Educating young people about healthy relationships and informed consent \n4. Providing empowering support services for those making life changing decisions for themselves and their children in very difficult circumstances\n5. Advocating for laws and policies that support survivors

Because of visionary planning and sound fiscal policies, Helpmate is able to plan for the future with confidence. Our current assets include:\n1. Leadership: Our Executive Director is known state wide (and beyond) as an expert in the field of domestic violence and prevention. Our Board of Directors is strong and engaged productively.\n2. Staff: The professional expertise and heartfelt dedication of our staff means we are capable of making significant impact in our community.\n3. Community Support: Our community values the work we do. Helpmate is a well respected organization locally. For over 40 years, Helpmate has been a leader in non-profit work in Buncombe County, NC.\n4. Collaboration: Helpmate works closely with many area agencies to make sure survivors and their families have the services they need. We are housed in the Family Justice Center in Asheville, a nationally known model for streamlined, collaborative services.\n5. Expanding Prevention Programming: New emphasis on preventing domestic violence (and community support to provide these services) is very encouraging in terms of reducing abuse in the future.

In the last five years, we have greatly expanded programming for children, prevention programming, and services to the LGBTQ community by creating staff positions for each of those areas. In 2017 we moved into the Family Justice Center to leverage our resources with allied community organizations (Asheville Police Dept., Buncombe County Sheriff\u0027s Office; District Attorney, Pisgah Legal Services, OurVoice (sexual assault services); Mission Health; Mountain Area Child Advocacy, Children\u0027s Protective Services. We work closely with the local judicial system to eliminate barriers and challenges for survivors as they navigate this system. \n\nOur next goal will be the expansion of our current shelter facility. We currently have 20 beds, approximately half what a county our size should have. We are forced to accept only those who are in imminent, life threatening danger. We work with all who need our services to find safe alternatives if the shelter is full, but this is not a good situation. Moving to another county for safe shelter, for example, can make maintaining employment and school attendance difficult.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    People who experience intimate partner violence and abuse.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 01/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ginny Raviotta

retired health care professional

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ceil Sanow

Community Volunteer

Joyce Greene

Hour Glass Cleaners

Gary Snipes

CoorsTek Medical

Bonnie Spradling

Retired Non-Profit Executive

Jennifer Adams

Starks Financial Group

Beverly Brignolo

DWR Audio

Mariate Echeverry


Cindy Holman

Retired Attorney

Frederick Hudson


Ginny Raviotta

Retired Health Care Professional

Duane Adams

AB Tech

Richard Manske

Parsec Financial

Graham Reynolds

UNC Asheville

Lucy Wheeler


Karina Escalante

Safi Solutions

Belinda Grant

Mt. Zion Community Development

Joni Lisenbee

Mission Health

Lauren Karlsson

Community Volunteer

Fran Paschall

HCA Healthcare

Chuck Farlow

Virtelle Hospitality

Jacqui Friedrich

Beacon Pointe Wealth Management

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data