The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) states that "on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men." 98% of those 10 million victims are also battling financial abuse from their abusive partner on a daily basis, making it almost impossible for them to become financially independent. Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program provides survivors of family violence with tools, resources and financial assistance to be able to build a foundation for a safer life. Friends of the Family knows that survivors leaving an abusive relationship are fighting an up hill battle and want to help every step of the way. The following is a client's story who was able to find independence and emotional well-being with the help of Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program.
When Clarice came into the Transitional Housing Program, she was facing a multitude of barriers. She was experiencing homelessness as a direct result of the violence her ex-partner had inflicted, which included physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. In addition, she was involved with CPS, multiple medical concerns, no health insurance, student loan debt, and poor credit. Her advocate worked with her to address her safety and legal concerns first, by helping her safety plan and obtain a protective order. They then focused on the client’s health. Her advocate connected her with local medical and dental resources and assisted her with signing up for benefits. Once the immediate concerns regarding safety, housing, medical, and physical needs were addressed, the client decided to start accessing counseling through our agency to address the trauma that she had survived. Clarice worked extremely hard to reach her goals while in our program. She began working on her custody case regarding her daughters who had been separated from her due to CPS involvement, and was able to begin spending more time with her daughters, which increased her hope and motivation for the future. Clarice focused on budgeting, saving money, and her housing plan for once she completed our program. She and her advocate worked to set up a payment plan for her student loans and she began to repair her credit. Next, they created a housing plan and located an apartment for her to move in to when the time came. She was also able to get much needed car repairs, so that she could reliably get to and from work each day. However, as she was working towards her goals in case management, more barriers arose. She was able to obtain health insurance through her work, but was not able to access the benefits for two months. Also around this time, an individual she had been acquaintances with began to consistently harass and stalk her through call and text. Clarice and her advocate worked to address her safety with the new threat that had arisen by safety planning regarding her home, work, travel, and technology use.
Despite all of the barriers that Clarice faced, during her time in the Transitional Housing program, she was promoted at her job twice and started training new staff. She accessed legal advocacy, housing advocacy, case management, counseling, and budgeting. She obtained a protective order, secured more time with her daughters, and qualified for Crime Victims Compensation to help her financially with her move into a new apartment. At the end of our program, she was able to obtain a lease in her own name and moved into her own apartment near her daughters and work. Clarice completed our program proud of all of the goals she had accomplished and hopeful for her and her daughters’ futures.
If you would like to learn more about how to support the efforts of Denton County Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program with time, talent or treasure and become a Housing Partner email our Community Resource Coordinator, Paige
Thank you for investing in safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention for victims of sexual and domestic violence in our community.