Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $100,000)
Summarize Proposed Project: The overarching goal of this project is to increase access to safe and dignified shelter that allows survivors to stay with their pets.
Purpose of the project: The purpose of this project is to increase access to shelter for survivors with their companion animals.
Primary Activities: The primary activities described in this proposal include pet-friendly modifications to YWCA Missoula’s Domestic Violence Shelter such as installing non-porous flooring in sleeping rooms and creating an outdoor exercise space. These activities will be supported by existing and new staff, including an Advocate/Pet Specialist Lead, and through deepening our relationship with the Humane Society of Western Montana.
Expected Outcomes: The expected outcomes of this project are creating access to emergency shelter for survivors and their pets that can keep them together. In this way, survivors with pets will have access to comprehensive trauma-informed services needed to rebuild their lives after crisis and achieve safe and stable housing. This project will also support delivery of other services to pets as needed, and a deepening of our partnership with the Western Montana Humane Society that will lead to better training for YWCA Missoula staff and community stakeholders. By providing these services at the Domestic Violence Shelter in The Meadowlark, we are addressing a gap in services by offering support services in a manner that allows survivors with pets to flee domestic violence and enter safe shelter.
Service Area: The wide swath of our service area covers more than 7,000 square miles and encompasses urban, rural, tribal and frontier communities. Our service area includes Missoula, Mineral, Granite, and portions of Lake, Ravalli, and Glacier counties. Both the Flathead and the Blackfeet Indian Reservations are also located within our service area.
Intended Beneficiaries: Project beneficiaries include survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their companion animals from within our service area. This population is largely comprised of low-income women and their children. The BIPOC community is over-represented in this population. This population also faces additional barriers due to a severe lack of affordable housing, and high rates of poverty and crime.