YWCA Dayton is expanding one of its longstanding supportive housing programs into Preble County. HomeShare is a two-year transitional housing and supportive services program that helps survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault achieve permanent safety and stability as they move from emergency shelter to independent living. For more than 12 years, this program has served Montgomery County; now, thanks to federal transitional housing funding, the program is expanding to also serve Preble County. The new location will welcome its first residents in Fall 2020.
“As the only domestic violence shelter provider in Montgomery and Preble counties, we have long seen the need for transitional housing in our rural communities especially,” explained Courtney Griffith, director of rural strategy, noting that rural women experience higher rates of intimate-partner violence and greater frequency and severity of physical abuse, yet live much farther away from available resources. 1 in 4 U.S. women will experience abuse in her lifetime.
“We know that transitional housing is the best type of housing for survivors. It supports them and gives them additional time to heal and establish independence. Too often, we see systems that force survivors to rebuild too fast – before they have employment, before they finish their education, before they have transportation – and it can result in falling behind on rent, evictions, and even returning to their abuser. Our transitional housing programs work to break this cycle.”
Residents work closely with a case manager on education, employment, budgeting, and permanent housing goals. The program’s mission is to ensure survivors obtain a living wage, integrate healthily back into the community, and develop a network of safe and empowering relationships that help them obtain the peace, justice, freedom, and dignity that they deserve.
HomeShare Preble County serves as the only transitional housing option, and the only one for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, in the county. Housing is provided in a fully-furnished group setting at a confidential, undisclosed address. HomeShare Preble County can accommodate a total of 15 individuals (women and children); the Montgomery County location serves six women and their children. Since 2008, more than 125 women have graduated from the program.
The expansion is made possible by a $450,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. It is the first time federal funding has been awarded to YWCA Dayton’s Preble County services.
Noted President and CEO Shannon Isom: “Housing is a fundamental variable for peace, dignity, and stability. YWCA believes this to be true, universally; whether urban or rural, we know that abuse happens in every class, every ZIP code, and every setting. As part of the largest network of domestic and sexual violence service providers in the nation, YWCA is committed to creating a safer, more just community.”
Sabrina Chupp, transitional housing and aftercare case manager in Preble County, is most excited about the program’s growth. “This is one of the first programs of its kind to be brought to Preble, and I can’t wait to see how this will reach different populations and provide new services, in new areas. Transitional housing programs are vital tools communities have to combat homelessness and support victims, and they are especially important in rural communities because these populations often have less access to housing and financial support.”
For more information, visit ywcadayton.org/homeshare.