Teresa Shelter, a program of Opening Doors,  provides a safe place for all women and children who find themselves homeless due to circumstances beyond their control. Some women may have been evicted and/or struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Address: 1111 Bluff Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
Phone: 563.690.0086
Fax: 563.582.5880
Heather LuGrain, Opening Doors Program Director

The shelter is open 24/7 except for an hour over the lunch and dinner hours. At this time guests can access the free meal sites that are available nearby. The hour-long closing during the lunch and dinner hours are also opportunities for women to get out and accomplish their goals.

Each individual who enters Teresa Shelter has her own set of specific goals and objectives for herself and/or her children. The shelter’s staff work with each woman to meet those goals and objectives by connecting them to needed resources and services. Teresa Shelter’s program includes assistance, food, referrals to supportive services, employment and housing leads, and advocacy with community services. The primary goal is to find permanent housing. Women must be 18 years of age or older. Children are also welcome. Girls and boys 0-17 may stay at either shelter with their mother.

As the only emergency shelter for women and children in the greater tri-state area, the shelter often operates at capacity. Upon arrival at the shelter, assessments are conducted for each woman and child to determine the specific needs they will focus on while in the shelter. The shelter’s Case Manager and staff work with each woman and child to meet their individual goals and objectives. If a women is meeting goals she may be offered a room in the extended stay program of Teresa Shelter. In the extended stay program residents are allowed to stay for up to six months. This allows the women to work on major goals that cannot change overnight. The primary goal is to help each woman find permanent housing.

The length of a woman’s stay can be 30 days in emergency housing and six months in the extended stay program. However, some women may only stay a day or two, while others may stay the full six months. Some women in the extended stay program can get extensions to stay longer if a move to permanent housing is imminent or they may move to Maria House to continue to work on their goals.

Shelter services:

  • Emergency shelter and Extended Stay Program
  • Referrals to supportive services
  • Employment leads
  • Housing resources
  • Advocacy and support
  • Showers and laundry facilities
  • Morning and evening meetings (focus on goal setting and shelter issues)
  • Private Rooms for semi-transitional guests
  • Life Skills, Budgeting, Parenting skills, Women’s health issues, Social Skills, Communication Skills


Doorway 1 (Emergency Shelter)

  • 30 days of shelter
  • Short-term goal setting
  • Focus is to meet basic needs
  • Provide and suggest community resources

(Level 1 Extended Stay Program)

  • Length of stay is up to 6 months (with a possible 6 month extension)
  • Long-term goal setting and achievement based
  • Focus on education and employment
  • Programming (case management, life skills, parenting)
  • Enhanced programming (case management, life skills, parenting support, financial management, education and employment skills, community involvement and 1 to 1 support)