New partnership helps survivors of domestic violence find permanent housing

Mar 15, 2019

Meghan de Chateuvieux President and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, Angela Panzarella President and CEO of the YWCA, Carla Palumbo President and CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester.
Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

A new collaboration between three local agencies will help find housing for survivors of domestic violence.

The YWCA, Willow Center for Domestic Violence and Legal Aid Society of Rochester have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That money will fund the Rochester/Monroe County Homeless Continuum of Care (RMHCoC).

Angela Panzarella is the President and CEO of the YWCA and says they want to find people housing that keeps them in their communities.

"For domestic violence survivors, their needs are quite unique in many respects, and it was important for us not to try to address this alone, but to turn to two other experts in our community for assistance, " Panzarella said.

Meghan de Chateuvieux is the President and CEO of Willow and says this collaboration will be a game changer for the community.

"One of the biggest obstacles survivors face in finding independence and self-sufficiency is safe affordable housing. And so, our waitlist is long, our shelter is full and we can’t find the places to place people post shelter in safe affordable housing, " de Chateuvieux explained.

She says their hotline gets about 30 calls a day.

"For many of them they were seeking safe shelter and our counselors had to say no. We are full. We have 49 beds and their filled every single night."

Individuals enrolled in the program will be provided safe shelter in crisis, and once permanent housing has been found, they will receive support services for up to a year.

Case managers and legal aid will also be available.