Domestic violence often leaves survivors homeless and without support

As a homeless services case worker, I’ve come to face an ugly truth: people fleeing domestic violence often become homeless. Abusers cut off access to family, friends, and financial resources, leaving survivors with no place to go or basis to rebuild their lives. Those who leave can stay in domestic violence shelters, but those agencies face enormous demands and can typically only provide 30 days of housing. Afterwards, survivors can find themselves homeless, jobless, and on the streets.

Unfortunately, most rehousing services cannot meet domestic violence survivors’ needs. Rapid Rehousing can quickly rehouse and financially assist individuals and families, but only those who meet federal qualifications, including income. This is difficult, if not impossible, for domestic violence survivors. Again, many abusers refuse to allow their partners to work, depriving them of funds and making it far more difficult to get future employment. Finding a job that pays enough to cover rent can take months, and then come the challenges of simultaneously paying for housing, food, transportation, healthcare, childcare and other necessities.

Transitional Housing programs, like BEDS La Grange Area Transitional Housing (LATH), let domestic violence survivors regain their lives. I manage this program and absolutely love it. LATH allows families to rebuild without being forced to become homelessness to get help. It places them in very low-rent housing units and provides supportive services for up to two years, enough time and resources to recover, start working, and eventually reach independence.

With your help, we can house more domestic violence survivors in the future. Click here to support La Grange Area Transitional Housing.