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Schumer Announces Over $697,000 to Rockland and Westchester Organizations for Victims of Domestic Violence

Federal Funds will Provide Housing Assistance for Victims of Domestic ViolenceWith Violence Against Women Act Due to Expire, Schumer Leads Effort to Reauthorize and Urges Inclusion of New Provisions That Expand Grant Programs, Support Rural Areas, and Protect Victims

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that three organizations in Rockland and Westchester Counties will be awarded $697,889 as part of the U.S. Department of Justices (DOJ) Transitional Housing Grant Program. Westchester Residential Opportunities will receive $348,314, My Sisters Place will receive $175,000, and Rockland Family Shelter will receive $174,575. The money will be used to provide housing assistance for victims of domestic violence.

We need to send an unequivocal message that violence against women is an awful problem that plagues our communities, Schumer said Battered women should never have to think twice about whether or not to report their abusers, and should always have a place to go. These grants will provide shelters and needed services for victims in Westchester and Rockland.

The federal funds will be used to help improve services offered by charitable organizations that provide support services for those individuals who are homeless or fleeing a situation of domestic violence. Grants may be used for projects that provide shortterm housing assistance, including rental or utilities payments, as well as support services designed to aid in locating and securing permanent housing. Local programs also offer a range of individualized services such as transportation, counseling, child care services, case management, employment counseling, and other assistance.

The Transitional Housing Grant Program, administered through the DOJs Office on Violence Against Women, provides funding for organizations that offer temporary housing and related services. Assistance is provided for those for whom emergency shelter services or other crisis intervention services are unavailable or insufficient. Only programs involving holistic, victimcentered transitional housing services are eligible for these grants.

Schumer has led the efforts this year to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is set to expire September 30th. In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill at which law enforcement officials, domestic violence activists, and Department of Justice representatives testified on possible improvements to the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. Schumer fought to strengthen the VAWA by expanding grant programs, supporting rural areas, and protecting victims. Last week, the bill passed the Judiciary Committee, and is slated to pass the full Senate soon. The original VAWA bill was authored by Schumer in the House of Representatives. This legislation will renew several successful programs and provides funding for training, education and outreach so that state and federal agencies can do a better job of preventing violence against women and assisting victims of domestic violence.