QUINCY -- A new transitional housing program will be launched next month as part of a more than $400,000 grant.
The $447,804 three-year grant awarded to Quanada from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women will fund a program for homeless survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in Adams, Brown, Schuyler and Pike counties.
Quanada Executive Director Megan Duesterhaus-AuBuchon said housing is vital in order for families to become stable and safe from violence.
"They need that stability and that permanence to get everything else in their life in order," Duesterhaus-AuBuchon said. "It's hard to do a job search when you're using the Quanada shelter as your address."
Clients in the transitional housing program will be able to occupy one of the units leased by Quanada for six to 24 months. Quanada will cover the costs for rent and utilities.
"We will assist them in working with the property owner after that point if they're wanting to transition into their name instead of our name," Duesterhaus-AuBuchon said.
The program is expected to serve more than 10 families at a time.
Duesterhaus-AuBuchon said the organization had a small transitional housing program years ago, but this is the first time the organization will have a program on a larger scale with a contract with the federal government.
"The 45 days they come into our shelter is not enough to put a life back together when you're starting from zero," she said.
Quanada has been working for five years to find funding for the program.
Clients in the transitional housing program will be offered support services, including counseling, life skills, financial literacy, safety planning, employment assistance and support groups.
Quanda is partnering on the grant with the YWCA Quincy, which will offer many of the support services.
The YWCA offers a supportive housing program that is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is available to those who are homeless and have a disability or a child with a disability.
YWCA Quincy Executive Director Maria Rench said Quanada's transitional program will help fill a void in the area.
"We have so many people that come to us that we can't help and that we have to turn away, and unfortunately that is so devastating when you see that crack in the system," Rench said. "Now that Quanada has this, it's fantastic that we'll be able to meet the needs of those people who are being overlooked in the community."