Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $100,000)
Washoe County Human Services Agency (WCHSA) is the leading entity in Washoe County, Nevada responsible for intervening and assisting children, adults and seniors who are victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. OUR Place is the largest emergency housing shelter for women and families in the area with a client diversity profile exceeding the county’s. Only 26% of the shelters in Washoe County allow victims’ pets and OUR Place is one of the few that can serve domestic violence victims with their pets. However, as the largest facility accepting pets, OUR Place encounters capacity challenges to ensure all clients with pets can be accommodated. Additionally, WCHSA faces strains on resources for helping victims secure a safe permanent home with their pets.
With OVC assistance, WCHSA and OUR Place will implement Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Pets, AKA the Pet Project, and carry out the OVC mission to enhance providers response to victims of crime and meet the OVC goal to provide shelter and housing assistance for victims and their pets. WCHSA, in partnership with OUR Place, intends to enhance existing victim services by including pet safety as an integral part of the victim services. The Pet Project aims to safeguard OUR Place’s capacity to accommodate pets, including pet health needs and pet boarding, satisfy the increasing demand for housing assistance to help victims secure a permanent safe home with their pet, and train staff on the link between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of pets. Through the OVC Mini Award, WCHSA and OUR Place proposes to serve 150 victims with their pets over the 36-month period and influence the outcomes of 1) increased capacity of OUR Place to serve victims with pets, 2) increased likelihood that a victim will flee an abusive situation, 3) secured safe permanent home for victims/victims and children with the family pet, and 4) strengthened skills of staff serving domestic violence victims through trainings.