New housing grant to help Connecticut domestic violence victims

Stock image of domestic abuse. (innovatedcaptures/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For the first time, the state is set to receive $1.7 million to house domestic violence survivors — one of the highest awards of its type in the country, according to housing and domestic violence victim advocates.

“We asked for $1.7 million, and we got it,” said Karen Jarmoc, president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The money will be used to cover victims’ rent for up to two years and help victims get jobs and handle the trauma they experienced. Some of the money will be used to house victims of human trafficking as well, she said.

The award grew out of the new relationship the coalition has with housing advocates. Jarmoc’s coalition and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness announced in June that, for the first time, they were sharing a database to help domestic violence victims find emergency housing.

Both the grant and the database are important because Connecticut’s domestic violence shelters are at 123 percent of capacity, Jarmoc said.

“We know that domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women in Connecticut and across the country,” Jarmoc said, and “these monies from HUD will certainly expand our ability to help survivors and their children get to their next best place.”

Commissioner Michael Santoro said, “This award represents Connecticut’s proactive approach to ending homelessness among a variety of populations, and continues to bolster the state of Connecticut’s national standing as a leader in ending homelessness.”

“Through the collaborative efforts of the state and our many community providers who are coordinating care and services, this is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do,” he said.

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