In 1971, Bea Robinson and Latina activists concerned about violence they and others experienced joined together to start a hotline and refuge for victims of domestic violence and their children. This refuge, the Shelter Next Door, began in a garage in San Jose. It was the second domestic violence shelter program in California and was the first domestic violence shelter offering bilingual English-Spanish services in the nation. In that garage began Next Door’s 24-hour crisis hotline (the number is unchanged for 34 years).
Since 1974, Next Door has provided prevention and intervention services to women, men, children and teens in Santa Clara County and has grown into Santa Clara County’s most comprehensive domestic violence service agency. Since that time, Next Door has helped build the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and now serves over 7,000 people annually at seven locations with services that include: shelter, food, clothing, transitional housing, crisis counseling, case management, legal advocacy, support groups, children and teen programs, and a Language Bank, which provides access to services in over 35 languages.