With domestic violence being the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, the timing couldn’t be better for the expansion of our transitional housing shelter. During calendar year 2015, 177 women and children resided in our shelters spending a total of 10,387 safe “bed nights” with us.
Safety is the first step for anyone leaving a physically abusive and violent relationship and is critical for any individual or family working to break the cycle of abuse. Our emergency shelter, Serena’s House, can accommodate up to 15 women with their children for up to four months. Sometimes that is enough time for our clients to find appropriate and affordable housing, but many times it is not.
The tight rental marked has created greater hurdles for our clients as they work to move on with their lives, seeking a healthier life for themselves and their children. If they are not able to find housing within that timeframe, they can qualify for up to two more months of secure housing in one of our transitional rooms. Our new shelter will have 8 such rooms, with a total of 16 possible as we expand. This means the ability to provide this extra time to at least an additional 24 women and their children (up to a total of 96) per year.
We are so grateful to our community for helping us as we work to expand this much needed service – you can read about our successful and ongoing capital campaign in this issue.