August 07, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $400,000 in Economic Recovery Funding Coming to Otsego County for Transitional Housing and other Assistance for Victims of Sexual Violence

Funding Will Support Transitional Housing For Victims Of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Abuse And Stalking

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that a Recovery Act Transitional Housing Assistance Grant totaling $395,935 has been awarded to Opportunities for Otsego, Inc. The funding will allow Opportunities for Otsego to provide transitional housing to victims fleeing sexual assault, domestic abuse, dating violence and stalking as well as support services like therapy, child care and employment counseling.

"This money is absolutely critical to better protect victims of sexual violence," said Schumer. "People who have been in abusive relationships don't just need a safe place to stay, they need comprehensive services that can help them get back on their feet and move forward with confidence. Opportunities for Otsego County can help by also providing confidential therapy, child care and job counseling. I have long fought for this critical funding and will continue to do so in the future."

"It is critical that we ensure victims of sexual violence have a safe place to go and receive the support they need," Senator Gillibrand said. "These federal dollars will keep more families and individuals in safe homes, protect them from dangerous, abusive environments and provide care for their children. I will always be a voice for New York families, and I will continue working with Senator Schumer to ensure New York gets its fair share from the federal government to keep our families safe."

The Recovery Act Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking or Sexual Assault Program (Recovery Act Transitional Housing Assistance Program) supports projects that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are in need of transitional housing, short-term housing assistance, and related support services. Transitional housing programs can meet the goals of the Recovery Act through employing victim advocates and other personnel to assist victims, renovating housing for victims, offering additional housing units, and increasing job opportunities for victims through training, education, and other support services.

The Transitional Housing Assistance Program was reauthorized and amended on January 5, 2006 by the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) with significant support from Schumer, who also authored the original VAWA bill in 1994 while serving the House of Representatives.

The Transitional Housing Assistance Program grant funds must be used to support programs that: a) provide transitional housing, including funding for the operating expenses of newly developed or existing transitional housing; b) provide short term housing assistance, including rental or utilities payments assistance and assistance with related expenses such as payment of security deposits and other costs incidental to relocation to transitional housing; and/or c) provide support services designed to enable individuals who are fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to locate and secure permanent housing. By providing individuals with services such as transportation, counseling, child care services, case management, employment counseling, and other assistance, Transitional Housing Assistance grantees offer its clients holistic, victim-centered services that support individuals for self-sufficiency.