Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $100,000)
The proposed project will provide transitional housing and/or crisis response emergency shelter to domestic violence victims with pets. The project will provide full supportive services to victims and their pets encompassing New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County. In the late 1990s, FFM became the first agency offering street outreach services and housing assistance to the unsheltered population in the local community.
The proposed program expects to serve at least nine households in a year. This project will not screen out for substance abuse, lack of income, criminal history, nor is housing assistance based upon participation in supportive services. The project will provide assistance with expenses incurred for the relocation, temporary shelter, housing, boarding, or fostering of victims and companion animals that are critical to securing safety. Supportive services include case management, life-skills training, emotional support, job assistance, housing navigation services, a full array of primary medical care, and information and referrals. Companion animal benefits will include kennels, pet amenities, vet bills, pet boarding, etc. that will be essential to maintaining the health and safety of the animal.
The project will be housing first, trauma-informed, and use harm reduction. Clients will begin to identify appropriate permanent housing options from program entry. Single female residents will come into a dormitory style transitional home with two units that function as a therapeutic living community for six months. Male participants, families, and those actively engaging in substance use will be placed in the ministry’s emergency shelter and/or given hotel accommodations. All supportive services are provided to victims and pets regardless of which housing option they choose. Full case management and housing navigation services will support clients and their pets from engagement and outreach to permanent housing placement. The project will expand the community’s capacity to serve victims with animals through the provision of safe, accessible shelter. The removal of this disparity will reduce stress for victims that feel trapped because they do not want to leave their pets behind, providing a life changing alternative that includes the safety and care for their animal.