Evanston, IL, February 9, 2017 - With the opening of a 16-unit apartment building in Evanston next month, YWCA Evanston/North Shore will become one of very few programs in the state of Illinois to offer longer-term housing and support for survivors of domestic violence.
For over 30 years, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has operated the only comprehensive domestic violence program in northeastern Cook County. YWCA Evanston/North Shore has extensive expertise serving survivors of domestic violence, providing 24-hour crisis intervention, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, and community counseling.
“One of our frustrations has been that without longer-term housing and support, families that leave an emergency shelter often have nowhere to go,” explains Karen Singer, CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “We have helped survivors address the initial crisis and trauma, and we continue to offer counseling, but without another stable place to live, survivors who leave shelter may cycle through other temporary housing/shelter services and programs or return to their abusers.
“Being able to offer another solution to that problem is the realization of a long-held dream, and it will enable us to deepen our impact by enabling survivors of domestic violence to achieve long term stability.”
Central to this longer-term housing program will be services and support provided by YWCA’s Housing and Employment Specialist, who will serve as advisor and coach, offering resources and training and assisting clients in securing the permanent affordable housing and sustained employment that will enable them to move to independence.
This new program is consistent with best practices in the field – move families into stable housing, then target the skills and resources necessary to build a sustainable future.
The first tenants, who will include clients from YWCA’s domestic violence program as well as clients from other domestic violence service providers, are expected to move into the building in mid-March.
While the building renovations are just about complete, there is a desperate need for household items. YWCA Evanston/North Shore has established a gift registry for the purpose of equipping the units with all the necessities a survivor might need before she moves in. Go to http://bit.ly/survivorgifts to find out exactly what’s needed.