COVID-19 has caused many changes for our normal daily lives but for most victims/survivors, there has been an additional obstacle to safety of being isolated with an abusive partner. Because victims/survivors are not able to connect or stay with their friends or family they are seeking our services more than ever. Since May of 2020, we have seen a 28% increase in calls to our hotline and have spent 76% more on emergency sheltering funds than in 2019.
In April, we shifted our shelter census to apartments and hotels stays, due to social distancing and safety precautions of having an almost completely communal space for about 40 people to share at our emergency shelter.
Survivor’s Story: A victim/survivor, “Sylvie,” called our hotline number in May when she had no place to go. Her abuser had lost his job due to COVID-19 shutdowns and he started drinking more and the abuse got worse. She would normally go to her aunt’s house, but she couldn’t because her aunt is at high risk for a COVID-19 infection due to having diabetes. Sylvie talked to a friend who heard of DVIP and gave her our hotline number. Sylvie called the next day when her abuser was passed out in the other room. We were able to provide Sylvie a hotel room for a couple of days until we could find her more permanent housing and connect her with other supportive resources.
By June, we hired additional cleaning staff and created temporary walls for social distancing in our communal shelter to shift people back to the space. We operate the shelter with every other room available, thus reducing capacity. We seek additional resources to house victims/survivors outside of our shelter. We have gotten several grants and individual donations, but the cost of housing is not decreasing and the spread of COVID-19 is increasing, as is domestic violence throughout our communities.
We need your help.
Your donation is essential to the victims/survivors we serve. You can help provide funds for an emergency hotel stay, apartment rental, and funding to support our emergency shelter and survivors like Sylvie. $35 provides shelter to a family for one night in our emergency shelter and $60 is the average cost of a hotel stay for one night.