Posted on May 09, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Women Against Abuse to launch second safe haven to meet critical need after years of shortage.
Women Against Abuse, Inc. will establish a second 100-bed emergency safe haven for survivors of domestic violence in Philadelphia. The new facility – which is scheduled to open by the end of 2013 – was made possible by the support of Philadelphia City Council and a $2.5 million grant from the Office of Supportive Housing. The new safe haven will double the City’s capacity to address what has been a persistent shortage of safe housing options for women facing violent and, in some cases, deadly, relationships.
Women Against Abuse and Philadelphia City Council will officially announce this critical project at a press conference on Monday, May 13 at 1 PM at the City Council Caucus Room, Philadelphia City Hall. Councilmembers William Greenlee and Kenyatta Johnson, the champions for this life-saving initiative, will host this public event. Other featured speakers include Dainette Mintz, Director of the Office of Supportive Housing; Renee Norris-Jones, a survivor of domestic violence and former client of Women Against Abuse; and Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director of Women Against Abuse.
The creation of the new safe haven is in response to the dramatic number of individuals that Women Against Abuse has been forced to turn away from its existing 100-bed emergency safe haven due to being at full capacity. The number of requests that outpaced available beds has been steadily increasing each year. Without sufficient emergency housing, victims are more likely to stay with their abusive partners, a dangerous situation that can be lethal. Last year, Philadelphia experienced 24 domestic homicides. The creation of an additional emergency safe haven for survivors of domestic violence is a major step toward a safer Philadelphia.
“Last year we had to say ‘no’ 8,465 times,” Lisitski said. “These are just some of the women who sought our help; who needed a safe place to go to escape from an abusive relationship. These are the women who did not receive what they so desperately needed because the Women Against Abuse 100-bed safe haven – the only shelter for victims of domestic violence in Philadelphia – was at full capacity. The numbers are horrific, but behind each one is a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter or a friend. Today, I am thrilled to say that their collective voice has been heard!”
The new safe haven will serve approximately 600 women and children each year. The facility will include 24-hour security, on-site meals, case management, behavioral health care and linkages to community supports. Its location will be confidential for the safety of residents.
About Women Against Abuse
Women Against Abuse is the leading domestic violence service provider and advocate in Pennsylvania, serving more than 13,900 individuals each year through emergency residential services, supportive transitional and permanent housing, legal aid, trauma-informed behavioral health care and community education and training. Women Against Abuse’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate and nonjudgmental services that foster self-respect and independence in individuals experiencing intimate partner violence, and to lead the effort to end domestic violence in Philadelphia through advocacy and community education. For more information, visit http://www.womenagainstabuse.org
Media Contact: Katie Young-Wildes
Development Director, Women Against Abuse
Ofc: 215-386-1280 x116 Cell: 267-240-4960