Bed Bug Resistant Mattresses at Shelter

A post written by Kristi Smith, Bradley Angle’s Shelter Manager.

Bed bugs!  Those little guys create big time problems for folks once they take residence in mattresses, fabric couches, wooden bed frames etc.  It has been reported that bed bugs are becoming more common in our city and can be picked up with very little effort while just commuting to work on the Max or finding a new treasure at a vintage store.  As you can imagine, if bed bugs show up in shelters, there is no easy, or quick, solutions.

Domestic Violence shelters are no different in the havoc that bed bugs can create, but what can be different is the emotional impact that can have on survivors.  Of course, being concerned for one’s safety is very important, but the kind of impact I am talking about goes even deeper.  We have learned and are reminded very often in this work that survivors of domestic violence crave sacred space.  Space that is theirs and free of the trauma that brought them to shelter in the first place.  For many people who enter these doors, their personal rooms become their sacred space to be free of violence.

Recently we were able to do a little proactive work to help prevent families from being displaced if we suspect bed bugs in survivors’ rooms.  Bradley Angle was able to purchase 19 bed bug resistant mattresses and replace every mattress we have at shelter.  This is a really incredible gift and we are so thankful for the grant to be able to do this for our participants.  Not only does this put people’s minds at ease, but it also helps survivors create safe, healthy, sacred places for themselves and their children.  This doesn’t mean that folks will never have to experience the discomfort of having to rearrange rooms or move folks in shelter, but any way of eliminating added trauma is a fantastic step forward.