Holt Announces Federal Grant for Womanspace to Support Housing for Assault Victims

Rush Holt and Patricia Hart at Womanspace.
Rush Holt and Patricia Hart at Womanspace.

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Womanspace  $352,416 in federal funding to support housing assistance for Mercer County victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

Womanspace Inc. will use the funding to provide housing and housing assistance and other services to Mercer County victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.

“This funding will allow Womanspace Inc. to provide safe housing to help victims of sexual assault or domestic violence get a fresh start away from their attackers,” Holt said. “The Violence Against Women Act has worked; it has saved lives and improved outcomes for millions of Americans, including many here in Central New Jersey.”

In 2012, Holt visited Womanspace to meet with Executive Director Patricia Hart, survivors of domestic violence, and other women advocates to discuss the need to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. In 2013, he helped win passage of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, which authorized the grant program that has awarded this funding to Womanspace.

“Womanspace is thrilled and extremely grateful to have been chosen as the recipient for the Department of Justice Transitional Housing grant,” Womanspace Executive Director Patricia Hart said. “One of the most urgent needs for families fleeing domestic violence is for housing. Without affordable, safe housing families are often forced to return to a dangerous environment. This three-year grant allows us to provide short and longer term housing for these families and to assist with supportive services, such as counseling, job readiness and training, job searches, children’s programming and so much more. Our families become active in school and training programs with the goal of finding employment that will help them to achieve self-sufficiency and to successful transition into a peaceful and safe home that they can afford.”

The primary focus of the transitional housing assistance program is to provide aid to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, particularly those who are homeless or in need of transitional housing and supportive services. Grants under the program are focused on supporting a holistic, victim-centered approach to provide transitional housing services that move individuals into permanent housing.

Womanspace provides a comprehensive array of services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for women and their families. Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault in Mercer County are encouraged to call the 24 Hour Hotline at 609-394-9000 or the New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline at 1-800-572-SAFE (7233).