Online platform finds available shelter beds for domestic violence survivors as shelters hit capacity

Shelters in Texas, Arkansas use DVBeds when shelters are full, families need to move away from abuser

SAN ANTONIO – Escaping an abusive relationship is an enormous feat, but then comes finding somewhere safe to go.

Finding that freedom and safety seems impossible when many shelters are at capacity.

That’s why a national organization based in Dallas launched a platform that identifies available beds across Texas. The Family Place created a bed availability platform called DVBeds in 2019, and it took off.

“Basically, someone can call our shelter, and if we don’t have space, we can look in an online platform and identify shelter beds with any of our partner agencies,” Interim CEO Tiffany McDaniels said.

McDaniel said before DVBeds, the burden fell on survivors in crisis, who were often short on time.

“They’d be told they didn’t have space at a shelter and given this long list of agencies to call,” McDaniel said. “Often, they only have a short time to make that call. We know leaving is the most dangerous time for survivors and the highest incident of lethality,” McDaniel said.

DVBeds partners with 30 shelters, 29 of which are in Texas and one in Arkansas. Nine other partner organizations provide other emergency services.

Two shelters locally use the platform: Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPS) shelter in San Antonio and Hays Caldwell Women’s Center in San Marcos.

The FVPS Battered Women and Children’s Shelter has a base of 186 beds, filling about 70 to 80 percent of the year.

However, the shelter is unique in that it does not turn away people who meet the criteria. It has previously housed 199 people.

Beds in the rooms can be converted to bunk beds, and staff can place cribs or extra beds in the dorms or even different areas of the shelter.

“The ability to be able to relocate a family whose physical integrity is in danger. We cannot should not waste precious time to save a life,” FVPS Presiden and CEO Marta Pelaez said.

Pelaez said they also have shelters for men and even space for pets.

She constantly uses the DVBeds platform, mainly for relocating families who aren’t safe in their community.

“When that abuser has found out, or there is some kind of a sign that he may be in the area,” Pelaez said.

The survivors can even request specific areas.

“When you call in, you can say, ‘I’d really like to be close to San Antonio because I have a sister there.’ And we can look in those areas,” McDaniel said.

In 2019, DVBeds started with 14,972 logins from people accessing shelter services.

In 2023, that grew to 165,000 logins.

With that immense success, The Family Place hopes to expand beyond Texas and Arkansas.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, we have a long list of resources for you. Just head to KSAT’s Domestic Violence webpage.

See below for a full list of DVBeds Partner Shelters:

North Texas

  • Abigail’s Arms (Gainesville)
  • Celebrate Families Forever (Kemp)
  • First Step (Wichita Falls)
  • Friends of the Family (Denton County)
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter (Dallas)
  • Graham Crisis Center (Graham)
  • Grayson County Crisis Center (Sherman)
  • Hope’s Door New Beginnings Center (Plano)
  • Mosaic Family Services (Dallas)
  • Navarro Victims Center (Corsicana)
  • Salvation Army (Dallas)
  • Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation (Plano)
  • The Family Place (Dallas)
  • Wise Hope (Decatur)


  • Bay Area Turning Point (Webster)
  • Family Time Crisis Center (Humble)
  • Fort Bend Women’s Center (Richmond)
  • Houston Area Women’s Center (Houston)
  • The Bridge over Troubled Waters (Pasadena)

Central & South Texas

  • Bastrop County Family Crisis Center (Bastrop)
  • Comal County Crisis Center (New Braunfels)
  • Family Abuse Center (Waco)
  • Family Violence Prevention Services (San Antonio)
  • Hays Caldwell Women’s Center (San Marcos)
  • Hope Alliance (Round Rock)
  • Mid-Coast Family Services (Victoria)
  • SAFE Alliance (Austin)
  • Safer Paths (Pleasanton)
  • The Purple Door (Corpus Christi)


  • Women & Children First (Little Rock)

DVBeds Partner Agencies

  • Families to Freedom (Addison)
  • Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (Dallas)
  • Tapestry (Dallas)
  • Rescue Her (Euless)
  • The Turning Point (Plano)
  • DAYA (Houston)
  • Northwest Assistance Ministries (Houston)
  • Texas Council on Family Violence (statewide)
  • Texas Advocacy Project (statewide)

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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