Press Release

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

Aug 7, 2009

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.