24 Hour Helpline: 440-357-1018 / Business Line: 440-357-7321

Get To Know Us

Find the help you need

About Forbes House

For 45 years, Forbes House has been empowering individuals and families to end the cycle of domestic abuse. Lake County’s only domestic violence shelter offers a 24-hour crisis line, emergency food and shelter, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy and education and prevention programming for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Services are provided free of charge as limited resources should not be a barrier for anyone who needs help.

Evolving from a community task force formed in 1977 to address the problem of domestic violence in Lake County, to fulfilling the need for a shelter in 1980, Forbes House continues today to serve as a safe haven for survivors of domestic violence. Though physically located in Lake County, Forbes House serves Northeast Ohio and beyond; caring for all survivors of domestic violence.

In 2023, we provided:

  • 1,562 crisis calls
  • 533 individuals served
  • 144 survivors sheltered – 6,808 bed nights
  • 406 court advocacy
  • 121 relocation assistance
  • 7,000+ services delivered

Our Mission

Forbes House empowers individuals and families to end the cycle of domestic abuse.

Our Vision

To help victims thrive and foster an end to domestic abuse through education and advocacy.

Our Approach

Our approach is a holistic one. Immediate shelter is only a temporary solution to an immediate crisis.

Leaving the abusive environment is the first step, but domestic violence survivors often need long-term counseling, housing, legal assistance, and more. We are proud to offer such programs which include advocacy, children’s programs, support groups, community outreach, legal advocacy, and aftercare programs at no charge to our clients. Forbes House also partners with community organizations and businesses to provide additional services to clients.

Our Team

Our team includes dedicated and passionate people, leading and serving from the heart. Positions range from executive director, program coordinators, Licensed Counselor, court advocates, community educators, and registered advocates. Together we work to end the cycle of domestic violence.

How Can We Help You? We won’t know until you call. When you’re ready, we’ll be here. (440) 357-1018

Leadership Team

Kathy Strancar

Kathy Strancar

Executive Director
Vishaka Giri

Vishaka Giri

Residential Program Coordinator
Melissa Heidemann

Melissa Heidemann, MSW, LISW-S

Clinical Coordinator

Board of Directors

Jim Levine

Jim Levine, President

Express Employment Professionals – Cleveland (East)
Kelly Conrad

Kelly Conrad, Vice President

Executive Director
Mentor Economic Assistance Corp.
John Forbes

John Forbes, Treasurer

Managing Principal


Charles Stennis

Charles Stennis, President Emeritus

Supply Chain Manager
Thermo Fisher Scientific


Kathleen Buse
Lisa Garvin
Jerrold Infalvi
Michele K. Johnson
Christine Matthews
Rebecca Molyneaux
John Sheehan
Mary Lu Swanner

Receive the Help You Need!

Call: 440-357-1018

Forbes House Helpline is Available 24/7/365