First Light and YWCA Central Alabama are collaborating partners for a Transitional Housing Program funded by the Department of Justice Office on Victims Against Women.
First Light designed a program of service for homeless women in the shelter who have become homeless as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking. YWCA Central Alabama provides at least three units of affordable housing. The grant allows for up to 5 units, meaning we may secure other units in other areas of the metropolitan community if these locations better suit the needs of the program participant.The service and the housing are funded by the grant, as well as other possible needed services and programs designed to help a woman find stabilized housing, employment and self sufficiency. Possible services might be: counseling for the woman and/or her children, employment readiness or job training, childcare, transportation or medication assistance, for example.
Other partners include: local attorney, Shannon Floyd Legal, LLC (who might provide assistance for a woman in her attempt to have her name removed from leases shared with an abuser, for instance); Oasis Counseling for Women (which offesr psychological counseling for a woman or her child struggling with traumatic exeperiences following the abuse); and YWCA Central Alabama Childcare (which provides childrcare services allowing the mother to seek employment, get job retraining or education, or simply for maintaining employment.)
This is an 18 month transitional housing program with a six month followup period that helps women overcome trauma and regain permanent housing upon completion of the 18 month period.
It is important to note that First Light was first awarded funding in 2011 and the grant has been continued in a second award which will begin later in 2015.