Finding safe and secure housing is the barrier that keeps many SHALVA clients in an abusive relationship. To make matters worse, they are often met with the question:
“If it is so bad at home, why don’t you just leave?”
If only “just” leaving was easy. SHALVA clients looking for housing are often met with these challenges;
- They don’t have access to money to rent or buy a new home.
- Landlords “don’t want trouble” and will refuse to rent to women with a history of domestic abuse, even though this is illegal discrimination.
- Landlords take advantage of urgent housing situations and require additional fees, such as 3 months’ rent upfront.
- Without credit and only minimal wages, they need someone to co-sign the lease.
- Some survivors have to declare bankruptcy to remove debts from the relationship.
- Parents need housing close to where their children go to school, but there is no affordable housing in the neighborhood.
- Religious women want to be within walking distance to their synagogue.
- Abusive partners’ behavior, such as destroying property and credit, may exclude her from housing services.
- There isn’t enough transitional or low income housing, and there are long waiting lists for subsidized housing.
- SHALVA clients are often not eligible for low income housing.
Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children.
You can help a SHALVA client find permanent, secure housing by connecting us to friends and colleagues with rental properties. Please call the SHALVA office at (773) 583-4673, so that we can build our list of housing options for our clients.