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Rose House Shelter at Safe Horizon
On April 1st, 2011 Safe Horizon celebrated the opening of our domestic violence shelter; Rose House.
With 181 beds, Rose House is the largest of Safe Horizon’s eight shelters, providing more space to families who desperately need a place where they can escape from violence.
At Rose House, families not only find refuge, they find specialists whose mission is to help them become self-sufficient and independent. Studies show that two major reasons why victims may stay in or return to abusive relationships are because they fear being left without a home, or because they have become financially dependent on their abusers. Rose House offers two housing specialists thanks to generous support from Capital One, and one vocational specialist to support clients in their search for permanent housing, along with helping clients find employment or job training programs that help boost their skills.
Safe Horizon continues to be the largest provider of shelter services for victims of domestic violence in New York City.
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Shanna had been at the shelter for two months - but it seemed her search to find a permanent place to live had gone on forever. Shanna had found a safe place to escape the domestic violence in her home. When she tried to find an apartment, however, she found herself stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare. As a victim of domestic violence, Shanna was eligible to receive a new apartment as well as funding to cover the rent, yet a mistake in a database system kept her from being offered the apartment she had qualified for. By the time we met with Shanna and talked to her about her situation, she’d become disillusioned, feeling hopeless, certain that she’d never get her chance to find her own safe place to live.
The first thing we did was to encourage Shanna in her search. Shanna had already survived a dangerous situation and found the safety she needed. It was time to help her find a way to move beyond safety and to take the steps she needed toward becoming independent.
We relied on our more than 30 years of experience and the expertise of our housing specialists to advocate with the rental agency on Shanna’s behalf, helping to clear up the mistake that had blocked Shanna from receiving the offer of an apartment. We helped Shanna provide the documents the agency needed to complete Shanna’s application.
A month later, Shanna had moved out of Rose House and had moved into her own apartment. She was extremely grateful, she told us, for the help we provided in getting her from a temporary haven to a new home. Most important, Shanna thanked us for teaching her the importance of being persistent, even when facing the most difficult situations.
Crystal had been at the shelter for three months with her young daughter and felt trapped. As she told us about her life and situation, she also told us how frustrated she felt because she didn’t believe she’d made any steps towards being able to support herself or her child. She was still at the shelter, and there seemed to be no other choice.
The years of abuse Crystal had suffered at her husband’s hands had taken a toll on her self-esteem. She needed encouragement to meet her goals to take care of herself and become self-sufficient. Safe Horizon’s staff would need to come up with a real answer to her question, “Are you going to help me?”
First, we helped Crystal apply for a job training program to help her build up the necessary skills she’d need to find employment. She was hesitant to do so at first, but when she learned she was accepted into the program, she became excited. Crystal also met with our housing specialists, who spoke with Crystal about how she could find suitable housing for herself and her child. Once Crystal began attending job training courses, we provided childcare for her daughter, and also helped her buy clothing so she could go to her classes.
Within two months, Crystal had graduated from the first level of the job program and immediately enrolled in the next course. To speak with Crystal today is to hear the confidence in her voice and the enthusiasm as she describes a future where she will be able to take care of her daughter, live in her own home, and finally find the independence she truly deserves.
Safe Horizon offers more than 2,400 families a year a refuge from domestic violence through our shelters. Take a virtual tour of our shelters at www.safehorizon.org/dvtour. You can also join in support of our work by donating here.
*Client names and other identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.