To The Editor:
On behalf of Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families Program, we would like to thank Oswego Mayor William Barlow and Rental Assistance Program Director Nathan Emmons for their work on a recent executive order that gives priority to victims of domestic violence through the city’s HUD program.
SAF, Oswego County’s domestic violence and rape crisis program, works with victims and survivors every day to help them find safety and navigate the numerous barriers to getting out of an abusive relationship. One of the most common barriers is finding safe, affordable housing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will experience domestic violence.
Additionally, domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the United States.
A lack of affordable housing options is regularly reported by survivors as a primary barrier to escaping abuse.
According to NNEDV’s 2017 Domestic Violence Counts, a one day annual census of the services provided to victims and survivors of domestic violence, there were 852 unmet requests for services in New York State in one day. 77% of those unmet requests were for housing.
Getting out of an abusive relationship is dangerous and difficult. Housing programs provide critical services for survivors of domestic violence and are often a key component that allows survivors to flee the violence perpetrated against them.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recognizes the intersection between domestic violence and homelessness and the need for stakeholders to find effective ways to serve this population.
This critical and life-saving measure by the City of Oswego will no doubt benefit the victims and survivors in our community.
hank you again to Mayor Barlow and Director Emmons for their leadership and direction in helping to raise awareness of domestic violence and work towards eliminating barriers for victims and survivors in need of vital services.
If you, or someone you know, is a victim or survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking, please call the Crisis Hotline at (315) 342-1600.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day and is free and confidential.
OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org
Did you know? It’s OCO!
Cristy King, Director
Crisis & Development Services
Oswego County Opportunities Inc.