New Program Helps Victims of Abuse Find Home

ROGERS, AR-- Victims of abuse feel safe at shelters but what happens when time is up? one local safe house is helping clients bridge the gap and make it on their own.

From staying in a safe home, to searching for your own home, the transition can be terrifying.

"We've seen clients who our thirty day emergency stay is not quite enough for them," Laurin said.

When clients at the Northwest Arkansas Women's Shelter build up the courage to start again, they often end up right where they started.

"They feel the need to eventually go back to that abusive relationship because it's a choice between abuse and homelessness," Laurin said.

With a new transitional housing program, development director Eva Laurin beleves they can bridge the gap.

"If we can launch someone into independence the first time, to where they don't feel the need to go back to an abusive situation, and they can be a productive member of our community after our first interaction with them then that's much better for them and us," Laurin said.

Victims and their families will be part of the 6-month-program and for the first month, cost is completely covered

Laurin said, "a lot of times that's the largest barrier, coming up with money for deposits, for utilities, and first month's rent. By that seventh month it is the expectation that they will be paying for 100 percent of their bills and rent."

Laurin said programs like this just don't exist in Northwest Arkansas.

Laurin said, "there just currently aren't. It is just a gap in service that has yet to be addressed. This is just a population that has been ignored."

So they're packing clients up and moving them out... hoping with the shelter's help, they will never need to come back.

Laurin said, "for many of them, they've never had a job before, they've dealt with years and years of abuse and they've been put down and felt worthless and this can mean starting over for them."

The new transitional housing program will cost about 40,000 dollars, and is set to launch in March 2014. 
The Northwest Arkansas Women's shelter is still looking for funds. To donate, call (479) 246-9999.

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