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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, CCADV Rapid Rehousing Effort is Especially Impactful

May 21, 2020
Press Release

NORWICH, CT – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Karen Jarmoc, President and CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), provided an update on the work of the CCADV’s federally funded Domestic Violence Bonus for Rapid Re-Housing program as it nears completion of its first full year in operation in June 2020. CCADV’s domestic violence rapid re-housing program began in 2019 with a $1.7 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and has been approved by HUD to receive an additional $1.3 million to continue program operations starting on July 1, 2020.

CCADV’s rapid re-housing program was started with federal HUD funding to provide support to Connecticut victims of domestic violence through searches for new housing, rental assistance, and sustained case management. The program proved to be highly effective shortly after its implementation. From September 2019 to late February 2020, CCADV’s team of statewide Advocates and Housing Specialists worked to help 40 families secure new households. Their work has ramped up significantly as social distancing and isolation practices began to be implanted in early March. Since March 12, CCADV has helped house 46 more families amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also continued to provide ongoing support to all families enrolled in the Domestic Violence Bonus for Rapid Re-Housing Program through virtual meetings and check-ins by telephone, text, and email.

“As the CCADV’s rapid re-housing program nears the end of its first year in operation, the importance of continued federal support for critical non-profits like these has never been clearer,” said Rep. Courtney. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of our lives in ways we could never have planned for, and for families who are victims of domestic violence the situation can be exponentially worse. CCADV President Karen Jarmoc, Director of Housing Advocacy Annie Stockton Sabrowski, and the entire team over at CCADV had already been doing great work in our community, but they’ve moved into an even higher gear since this pandemic began. In less than ten weeks, the CCADV has helped to house more families in need than they had been called upon to aid in the previous six months.

“Providing additional funding to organizations like CCADV isn’t ‘pork’—these organizations perform work that is critical to our communities, and they’re up against tremendous financial shortfalls right now. The HEROES Act would help provide them with the additional funding they need now and in the months to come, and the Senate shouldn’t delay in taking it up for consideration.”

“Domestic violence rapid rehousing has transformed and expanded our capacity to offer safety and stability to victims and survivors in a whole new way," said Karen Jarmoc, chief executive officer, CCADV. "These resources have been remarkably helpful during the pandemic and I fully anticipate continued impact moving forward.”

“The positive impact that this program has had on victims and their children cannot be overstated,” said Annie Stockton Sabrowski, director of housing advocacy, CCADV.  “Fleeing an abusive relationship is scary, particularly when there are children involved. Having a safe, stable home to go to is essential to feeling secure and being able to begin the healing process.”

Rep. Courtney and the House of Representatives voted to pass The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) on May 15th. The bill would provide Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs with an additional $100 million, with a waiver of local match requirements, including $30 million in grants to combat violence against women, $15 million for transitional housing grants, $15 million for sexual assault victims assistance, $10 million for legal assistance for victims, $4 million for assistance to tribal governments, and $16 million to support families in the justice system. The bill would also provide HUD’s Tenant Based Rental Assistance program with an additional $1 billion for new, temporary vouchers for individuals and families who are at risk of becoming homeless, or who are fleeing domestic violence.

On March 27th, Rep. Courtney joined the House of Representatives in voting to pass the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748). The bill was signed into law, and included $45 million in federal funding for emergency shelters through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA); $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants and other housing resources, some of which will be available to help survivors of domestic violence; and $2 million for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.