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Domestic Violence Services Program Receives Funding

Grants from US Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women help Unity House offer services

Unity House’s Domestic Violence Services program, which offers services and safe space to all victims of dating and domestic abuse, was awarded funding for comprehensive projects that will further the community collaboration the program already engages in, while expanding the breadth and reach of services for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The first grant, the Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men Program, provides funding for communities to create a coordinated community response to enhance prevention, intervention, and response efforts for children and young adults affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sex trafficking. This funding will be used to implement a comprehensive project to develop, expand, and strengthen coordinated community responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Rensselaer County. The funding will be used specifically to do the following:

  • Hire a full-time mental health counselor to provide age- and developmentally-appropriate therapy to children and youth survivors and their caretakers.
  • Hire a full-time program coordinator to provide case management and safety planning services for survivors and their caretakers.
  • Build a referral network to connect children and youth survivors and their caretakers with supportive community resources such as a food pantry and clothing.
  • Facilitate a summer fellowship program to develop youth leadership in ending violence against women.
  • Develop an Empowering Girls Group and summer art program to engage young girls as leaders and influencers in ending violence against women and girls.

The second grant, part of the Disability Grant Program, works to increase the accessibility of safe and effective services for individuals with disabilities who are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Funds will help Unity House to provide services and develop resources for survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault who are in the Deaf or disabled community of Troy. The funding from this award will specifically do the following:

  • Promote accessibility between the Deaf community and the Culture of Respect and Empowerment (CORE) Initiative. The CORE Initiative is a collaboration between Unity House of Troy’s Domestic Violence Services, the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley (ILCHV), and the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program that works to end abuse of people with Disabilities.
  • Develop and implement a Disability High-Risk Team, which will meet monthly to address the intersection of disability and domestic and sexual violence.
  • Produce outreach and awareness campaigns that will lead to more referrals from services providers and increasing the number of individuals with disabilities who seek services.

The third grant, from the Transitional Housing Assistance Grants Program, will help provide housing and services to move survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating, or stalking who are homeless to permanent housing. The funding from this award will specifically do the following:

  • Provide services to help survivors who are homeless move to permanent housing, such as rental and utility assistance, case management, safety planning, childcare, transportation, career counseling, financial and credit counseling, job training, support groups, and housing advocacy.
  • Hire an additional staff member to implement the program and provide follow-up services.
  • Focus on meeting the needs of underserved veterans, Deaf, disabled populations in the community

Unity House is grateful to the many community partners who make this work possible and especially grateful to our partners at the county, state and federal levels who recognize the needs  in our community and work to improve available services. In particular, we wish to recognize the support of Senators Kisten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer for their advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence.

You can read more about this funding this article from The Record.

A reminder that help is always available for victims of domestic violence at the 24 Unity House DV Hotline: (518) 272-2370