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Retreat gets grant to help victims of abuse cover housing costs
Disadvantaged or financially cut-off women and their children in Suffolk County who are escaping violence in their homes will have new access to temporary rental assistance as a result of a federal grant awarded to The Retreat, according to the domestic violence services organization.
The announcement of the award was made by the U.S. Office on Violence Against Women just as Domestic Violence Awareness Month began in early October. The Retreat was named as a recipient in collaboration with the non-profit Long Island Housing Partnership.
“This is a long sought-after development for many women and children of Long Island,” said Jeffrey Friedman, executive director of The Retreat, eastern Long Island’s only comprehensive domestic violence services organization. “Suffolk County is one of the most expensive places to find affordable housing in the country. This new funding will give a number of fleeing moms and their children in our community the transitional housing resources and support they need to achieve long-term safety.”
The average “fair market” monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,435, for a two-bedroom is $1,682, and for a three-bedroom is $2,232. Sometimes, victims leaving a domestic violence emergency shelter must often choose between homelessness and moving back in with their abusers because of the cost of housing.
The new grant will provide up to $1,000 per month to certain survivor individuals/families that can be used for rent, utilities, and other expenses for up to six months if needed.
In addition to rental assistance, an estimated 25 families under this grant will receive counseling help in their effort to find long-term, permanent housing. All will also receive ongoing domestic violence services, including counseling, legal advocacy, and safety planning.
The Long Island Housing Partnership (LIHP), a collaborator in administering this grant program, has provided education to more than 20,000 low- and moderate-income people seeking affordable housing on Long Island. LIHP works across sectors of the community to connect people with housing opportunities.
The Retreat, a non-profit founded in 1987, provides a wide array of direct services, including five core services: a crisis hotline, a domestic violence shelter, legal advocacy, counseling, and domestic violence prevention education. The Retreat’s mission is to provide safety, shelter, and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence.