Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $400,000)
OVC Fiscal Year 2023
Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program
Unity House of Troy, Inc.
Unity House of Troy and its project partners – the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (MHHS), HeartsHerd Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Center (HeartsHerd), and the Pride Center of the Capital Region (Pride Center) – propose to enhance and expand transitional housing assistance and flexible support services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the City of Troy and the entirety of Rensselaer County, New York. The proposed project will also provide temporary, safe shelter and quality care for victims’ companion animals.
Additionally, Unity House and partners will collaborate to provide inclusive community education and awareness around domestic violence, the link between domestic violence and animal abuse and neglect, and promising practices for providing support services and referrals centered around victim confidentiality and expanded access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and affected by inequality. Pride Center has committed partnership in pursuance of increasing awareness and access to services and opportunities for LGBTQIA+ community members.
Unity House Domestic Violence Services (UHDVS) is the sole, licensed, non-profit victim services provider serving victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Rensselaer County. MHHS is the oldest, largest animal shelter and protection organization in New York’s Capital Region, serving Albany, Rensselaer, and surrounding counties. HeartsHerd is a non-profit animal sanctuary and rescue center located on a 21.75 acre farm, dedicated to the care, well being, and love of abused and abandoned animals. Pride Center is the oldest continuously operating LGBTQIA+ center in the country, promoting the well-being of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people and those affected by discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
UHDVS and project partners propose to:
Increase the amount of transitional housing resources in our community for domestic violence victims, their children, and their companion animals.
UHDVS will manage rental assistance funds including rent, security and pet deposits, and utility payments for an average of four participants per year/12 participants per grant term.
Provide victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking with the support services necessary for them to safely locate and secure safe housing while temporarily and safely housing and caring for their companion animals.
UHDVS will employee a full-time Project Coordinator to facilitate the provision of intensive case management, support services, crisis intervention, safety planning, and housing coordination for victims, their children, and their companion animals.
Project Coordinator will collaborate with MHHS and HeartsHerd to facilitate the safe housing, boarding, and/or fostering, and care of victims’ companion animals (both large and small), including routine and emergency veterinary care.
Provide inclusive community education and awareness around domestic violence, the link between domestic violence and animal abuse and neglect, and promising practices for providing support services and referrals centered around victim confidentiality and expanded access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and affected by inequality.
Project Coordinator will develop and facilitate 12 educational events/trainings over the course of the grant. Of which, UHDVS and Pride Center will consult with and collaborate for two educational events per year (one smaller, targeted training for community stakeholders and one large community awareness event).
Create a dedicated Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team composed of project partners and relevant community stakeholders, which will meet quarterly.
Project Coordinator will facilitate quarterly CCR Team meeting agendas, membership, and outreach.
Project Coordinator, in collaboration with partners, will facilitate a community survey, which will guide CCR Team membership and meetings, future community stakeholder participation, training development, awareness events, and more.
Through grant funds, the proposal partners will expand transitional housing, support services, awareness and training throughout all of Rensselaer County by providing flexible support services to at least 20 participants per year/60 participants per grant term; providing rental assistance, case management, and support services to at least 4 households per year/12 households per grant term; facilitating the safe sheltering, boarding, fostering and care, including veterinary care, for at least 11 companion animals per year/33 per grant term; providing 1 large community education and awareness events per year/3 per grant term; providing 3 community stakeholder trainings per year/9 per grant term; and facilitating outreach and greater access to services through the creation of enhanced professional posters, flyers, and pamphlets for widespread dissemination throughout Rensselaer County and creation of a dedicated Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team that will meet 4 times per year/12 times per grant term.