Gillibrand: Homeless domestic violence survivors shouldn’t be invisible, deserve more federal resources
Gillibrand to Call on President-elect Donald Trump’s Incoming Administration to Fix This Injustice
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday announced a new push calling on President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration to direct officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to permanently include homeless victims of domestic violence in its annual count of the homeless population. Currently, HUD does not require the count of these victims as part of the homeless population, resulting in underfunded programs and resources to help this vulnerable population get back on their feet.
“Domestic violence survivors are some of the most vulnerable people among us, and homelessness makes life even more dangerous for them,” said Gillibrand. “They leave home because they live in fear that their lives, or their children’s lives, will be endangered if they don’t leave. But they have nowhere to go and no one to ask for help, so they end up on the streets. That’s why I’m calling on President-elect Trump’s transition team to direct the new HUD secretary to make domestic violence survivors a separate group when they calculate our homeless population. We need to make sure that the federal money going to our homeless shelters and nonprofits is being allocated in the best way possible, so that homeless New Yorkers, including those who have experienced domestic violence, can get the help they need.”
Every year, HUD requires local Continuum of Care Coalitions in communities across New York and the country to report information about the homeless population for its annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. This data is critical in helping determine the size of the homeless population nationally and locally in New York City and helps dictate the federal policies and resources assisting homeless individuals and families across the country. Since victims of domestic violence and their children are not always counted, programs and resources to assist this vulnerable population are underfunded.
“Domestic violence is acknowledged to be a major generator of homelessness among women and families nationally. Too often, however, homeless families fleeing abuse are invisible and do not receive the housing and services needed to break the cycle of violence,” said Carol Corden, executive director at New Destiny Housing. “Mandating the counting of domestic violence survivors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as part of HUD’s Point-in-Time Count will help address this oversight. On behalf of the survivors New Destiny serves, as well as the many other families in the United States affected by domestic violence, we thank Sen. Gillibrand for her dedication to ensuring that no family should have to choose between safety and homelessness.”
—Information from Sen. Gillibrand’s office
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