Albany, NY – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $750,000 in federal funding for the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and the Unity House of Troy. Specifically, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York will receive $400,000 to strengthen civil and criminal legal assistance programs for adult and youth victims of domestic violence and the Unity House of Troy will receive $350,000 to a broad range of holistic, victim-centered transitional housing options and supportive services. The funding was allocated through the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women.
“Domestic and dating violence is never acceptable and we must do all we can to both prevent it in the first place, and to take care of those who are victimized by it. Fortunately, there are organizations like Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and the Unity House of Troy dedicated to providing legal help so we can help stop these terrible attacks on women and girls, as well as the transitional housing victims need to help them get back on their feet,” said Senator Schumer. “I will continue doing everything I can to ensure organizations like these have the resources they need to combat these horrible crimes.”
“This critical federal funding will help the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and the Unity House of Troy develop and facilitate a wide range of programs to better assist domestic violence survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Domestic violence is a serious problem and we need to work towards creating a safe environment for individuals and families. By increasing access to legal services and providing housing opportunities we can help provide New York families and survivors with the support they need to be protected and put their lives back together.”
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York will use this grant to provide legal representation to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in 13 counties in rural northeastern New York. This organization will implement the grant in partnership with 10 domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service providers.
“We’re delighted to be able to continue to serve our rural victims of domestic violence,” said Lillian Moy, Executive Director of Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. “We are so grateful for Senator Gillibrand’s support for our efforts.”
Unity House currently operates as the only licensed domestic violence provider in Rensselaer County. Unity House will use this grant to partner with the Rensselaer County Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Center, Troy Housing Authority, Troy Area United Ministries, and the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center to provide scattered site transitional housing and comprehensive support services to a total of 18 victims of domestic and sexual violence. The project will provide housing services for a minimum stay of six months and a maximum stay of 24 months and supportive services that move individuals to permanent housing.
“We are so appreciative and grateful to have this much needed support for victims of domestic or sexual violence,” said Christopher Burke, Executive Director of Unity House. “These funds will allow us to provide for 18 victims—some of them in rural areas—so that they can secure safe and affordable housing and also have the necessary social supports to begin new lives free of violence. Unity House has a long history of providing domestic violence services and we know how crucial safe housing is for a person to transition to safety and a new life.”
The goal of the grant programs through the Office on Violence Against Women is to create sustainable change within and between organizations that results in accessible, safe and effective services for individuals who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and accountability for perpetrators of such crimes.