Oswego County Opportunities received grant for housing for domestic violence victims

By Ashley M. Casey

As part of the Violence Against Women Act, the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Violence Against Women has awarded a $300,000 grant to Oswego County Opportunities.

The grant will be used to provide transitional housing for victims of domestic violence.

The grant allots OCO’s Crisis and Development Services $100,000 a year for three years.

Eric Bresee, director of Crisis and Development Services, said OCO and the Department of Social Services applied for the competitive grant back in April.

OCO’s Services to Aid Families shelter provides a safe, temporary place for victims of domestic violence to stay before they can secure more permanent housing.

“One challenge for many women residing in the shelter is finding adequate, affordable housing to exit to,” Bresee said.  “Many times, survivors of domestic violence need to start over building resources as they pursue a life free from violence. Often, they do not have the financial resources to immediately secure housing on their own.”

In addition to housing help, the grant will provide domestic violence survivors with social and professional resources.

“This project will offer survivors a  case manager who can provide advocacy, transportation, supportive counseling and assistance with applying for Office of Victim Services compensation, as well as security deposits and rental subsidies to support housing,” Bresee said.

“The project will also offer job skills training and assistance with obtaining employment, including assisting participants in obtaining the National Work Readiness Credential,” Bresee said.

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse, co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act bill and voted for it in February 2013.

“Oswego County Opportunities serves as a lifeline to victims of domestic violence, and I am thrilled that this funding will support their work to provide essential housing services to some of the most vulnerable in our communities,” Maffei said in a press release.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence, OCO has a 24-hour abuse and assault crisis hotline, 342-1600.

For more information, visit oco.org.

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