Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)
Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (DVIS) is a domestic violence and sexual assault services nonprofit in Tulsa, Oklahoma that has served individuals and families impacted by domestic violence for over 46 years. DVIS provides comprehensive services to families affected by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and adult sex trafficking. DVIS’ certified programs include a 91-bed emergency shelter and kennel, 20 transitional housing apartments, outpatient counseling for survivors, children's counseling and advocacy, offender's counseling, legal advocacy, community outreach and prevention education, in schools. The kennel for companion animals of survivors was installed within the new emergency shelter in 2015, and in 2021 provided shelter to 18 dogs and 3 cats for a total of 1,035 shelter nights. DVIS was the first domestic violence shelter in the state of Oklahoma to have a kennel space within an emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
The project will be implemented in Tulsa County, Oklahoma (population of 669,271 and occupies 570 square miles), and will impact domestic violence survivors and their companion animals in Tulsa County. If awarded, DVIS will use grant funds to expand the existing dog and cat kennel capacity; construct safe outdoor play enclosures for pets to enjoy with their families; employ a Kennel Technician to provide animal care, organize community-based trainings, and assist with advocacy for clients with companion animals; and assist survivors in securing pet-safe stable housing.
The anticipated outcomes of this project include providing safe housing at the Emergency Shelter for at least 40 companion animals and their families; ensuring all survivors and companion animals unable to be housed at the DVIS Emergency Shelter will receive resources on and referrals to alternate community housing organizations; receiving self-reports of 15 families and their companion animals achieving pet-safe stable housing after graduating from the DVIS Emergency Shelter; and providing 10 local agencies and partners with training on (1) the link between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of companion animals; (2) the needs of victims of domestic violence and their companion animals; (3) best practices for providing, or referring, support services to such victims and their companion animals; and (4) best practices in designing and delivering services that protect victims’ confidentiality.