Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 by a group of caring and concerned individuals who wanted to help the growing numbers of homeless people in DuPage County. These volunteers were members of an activist group, the Religious Education Community (REC), which studied social challenges in DuPage County. The group’s initial impressions led them to believe that “people living in their cars” had lost their homes through fire, eviction or similar crises. They were not expecting to deal with women and children who were homeless as a result of domestic violence. It quickly became apparent to some members of the REC that shelter for victims of domestic violence was a critical and overlooked issue.