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 with the only exceptions being 12-1 and 4-5 Monday through Saturday. 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, accomplish their goals and help with depression.

Each individual who enters Teresa Shelter has her own set of specific goals and objectives for herself and/or her children. The shelter’s Case Managers 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, advocacy with community services, parenting skills, and budgeting. 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 woman 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 a year. This allows the women to work on long term 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 to a year in the extended stay program. However, some women may only stay a day or two, while others may stay the full year. 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, or get a referral to the Francis Apartments.

Shelter services:

  • Emergency shelter and Extended Stay Program
  • Referrals to supportive services
  • Employment leads
  • Housing resources
  • Advocacy and support
  • Showers and laundry facilities
  • 2 meetings per week for each client (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
  • Programming (case management, life skills, parenting)
  • Focus to meet basic needs
  • Provide and suggest community resources
  • Mental/substance treatment

(Level 1 Extended Stay Program)

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