SALISBURY, Md. – During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the city of Salisbury is creating a solution to a growing problem, and they are enlisting the help of the LIfe Crisis Center and Telamon Incorporated to do it.
“Once you leave the shelter, what happens next?”
For domestic abuse victims that question and others about the future aren’t easy to answer. For many, they’ll head to the streets homeless or they’ll go back to their abusers.
“The average victim will return to her abuser seven times and that in part or maybe even in whole is because she doesn’t have the resources available to her to break away,” says Life Crisis Center Director Abigail Marsh.
That question about the future, the one met with difficult answers is being tackled by the city of Salisbury and they’re using a grant from the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women to do it.
$350,000 is being spent on transitional housing for victims.
“The Transitional Housing Assistance program provides a holistic victim-centered approach for moving victims of domestic violence sexual assault dating violence and stalking to permanent housing,” says Mayor Jake Day.
After the safe house, the program provides a needed step for victims of domestic violence.
“Things like housing are so critical because let’s face it right it, she doesn’t want to wind up under a bridge homeless and she’s going to continue to stay with someone who’s abusing her because she wants to make sure her children and herself are not living in that homeless state,” says Marsh.
That fear is no longer a factor with this transitional housing.
“Getting them into a situation which will probably be up to two years of housing that will get them on their feet is a huge difference in the lives of victims,” explains Marsh.
The funding will provide nine housing vouchers for victims with land donated by the City.
But the help doesn’t just stop at providing housing for these victims.
In partnership with Telamon Corporation these abuse victims will also be offered a free Food and Safety training program.
The program is a 14-week course that will provide job skills for victims to help get them the life sustaining wages they need.
It’s work-place readiness training that they can take during this transitional phase.
“Those individuals will be able to work in hospitality, restaurants, the local hospitals, dietary aids but it also those individuals who want longer term training but then need to be able to support themselves and their families that allows them to work during that time period,” says one Telamon Inc. representative.
And until a parcel of land is ready for transitional housing, nine short term vouchers will be provided starting in January.
The city sees this grant lasting three years helping over 30 families until reapplying for the same or similar grant to keep it going.