FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After the holidays the Marjaree Mason Center sees an influx of people needing shelter and this year is no different. CEO Nicole Linder said it's a cycle they see year after year.
"I think a lot of people want to reconcile, they want to be at home together as a family and so there is a high desire to forgive and maybe forget past wounds for the sake of preserving that family unit, but there are a lot of stressors that happen around holiday times," said Linder.
Even with the influx, she said if you need help the center will work with you.
Long-term, Linder said there needs to be a shift in how we view homelessness, especially when it comes to those experiencing domestic violence.
"It is really considered one of the number one reasons for homelessness, but it's also a very invisible sign of homelessness where oftentimes we're not thinking of individuals who are unsafe in their own home as people who need housing support in the same way that somebody who lacks adequate housing and is unhoused on the street," said Linder.
She said more emergency shelters and permanent and affordable housing can help address the need, but that would require more funding and legislation. She said the public can help by reaching out to local and state governments, making donations if they're financially able, and getting involved.
"There's the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, get involved in legislative decisions as it relates to housing," said Linder. "I think that survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking and sexual assault need that same continuation of housing supportive services that all other unhouse populations have."
The center also works on education and outreach.
Right now, they're preparing for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February.
Resources for how to talk to the teen in your life about healthy relationships or other resources related to domestic violence and assistance can be found on the Marjaree Mason Center website.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.