Long-Term Housing: Why it can make all the difference for women and their children

08-23-2017 9:05 AM

I had heard of transitional housing before. But I didn’t really understand it until I talked to Barbara Homrighausen from Emily’s Place during Mary Kay’s Seminar.

Emily’s Place received a grant from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and sent employees to meet Independent Beauty Consultants during Seminar. Today, I report to you what I learned and why I think transitional housing is so critical.

How is transitional housing different from the traditional shelter?

Shelters typically provide housing for women in emergency situations. Women usually can stay anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

But then what?

Unless they have a good job or friends or family who can support them, these women are likely to return to their abusers or risk homelessness.

That’s where transitional housing makes all the difference.

Transitional housing allows women and their children to stay longer.

Emily’s Place allows women and their children to stay up to two years. Southeast Advocates for Family Empowerment (SAFE) in Louisiana, featured in our August 4 Blog, allows women and children to stay for one year. The Genesis Shelter, also supported by The Mary Kay Foundation,℠ provides transitional housing for up to a year.

The need for transitional housing is growing as many shelters struggle to stay open.

Sometimes it’s more than just housing.

Emily’s Place requires each resident to attend classes including counseling, parenting, financial planning, safety, healthy relationships and job skills.

The goal? To ensure each resident can sustain a healthy lifestyle without violence when she leaves the program.

How to look for transitional housing.

Finding a good long-term housing program isn’t always easy. Programs are sometimes separate from shelters and go by different names. “Transitional housing” can incorporate many issues — including drug rehab programs.

You can start by calling your local domestic violence shelter(s) to see if they have or know about long-term housing programs in the area. Your best bet is a transitional program only for domestic violence survivors.

5 Questions You’ll Want to Ask About Transitional Housing

  1. Is your transitional housing a community home or private apartment?
  2. Are there requirements to live in the transitional housing program? (You’ll want to know if a community home houses only domestic violence survivors or others.)
  3. How long can women stay?
  4. Is there an age limit for male children?
  5. Are there other services or programs for the residents?

To find a domestic violence shelter in your area supported by The Mary Kay Foundation,℠ please visit marykayfoundation.org.

Stacy Graves is a contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog and website. She’s worked in some type of communication role for Mary Kay since 1994 — loving every minute. She’s passionate about everything Mary Kay. You can connect with her by email (stacy@wordcoaching.com), her website or LinkedIn.