On any given night, hundreds of thousands of adults, youth, and children all across the country are experiencing homelessness. While there are a multitude of reasons a person can be impacted by homelessness, many are fleeing dangerous home situations stemming from domestic violence. Although this issue can affect any person in any community, it’s one of the primary causes of homelessness for women and children in the US. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, between 22 and 57 percent of women and children are homeless due to domestic violence.
Specifically in our community, Marion County’s annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count on January 22, 2020 revealed that the number of people experiencing homelessness totaled 1,588. Eight percent of those counted said they were actively fleeing domestic violence. For women experiencing homelessness on this night, 22 percent reported they were actively fleeing domestic violence compared with just 2 percent of men.
Safe and affordable housing is one of the barriers people leaving domestic violence relationships face. Thankfully Indianapolis has several great resources for domestic violence survivors, including housing and supportive services. As a longtime partner with The Julian Center and Coburn Place, we see their impact firsthand. In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we want to take a moment to highlight the work of these amazing organizations.
The Julian Center is an emergency shelter and family justice center that empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence. The agency creates a community where every individual can feel safe and respected through providing shelter, case management, advocacy, limited legal assistance, and education for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other life crises. Housing over 100 individuals each night of the year in their emergency shelter, The Julian Center helps survivors begin to heal from their trauma while working with a Family Advocate. We partnered with The Julian Center over 8 years ago and serve an average of 48 students per year.
Coburn Place empowers survivors of interpersonal abuse. By providing transitional housing coupled with supportive services, Coburn Place offers a safe environment where survivors and their dependents can start their unique journey to immediate and long-term safety, to emotional and social well-being, to self-sufficiency and to permanent housing. Through their programs and supportive services, 75% of survivors living on-site went to safe, permanent housing in 2019. We’ve partnered with Coburn Place for over 14 years and build connections with an average of 21 students per year.
The devastating consequences of domestic violence can last a lifetime, while the negative impacts of homelessness on students’ academic success can linger for years after being stably housed. The organizations in our city that support domestic violence survivors are making an incredible impact. We’re proud to partner with The Julian Center and Coburn Place to provide educational support to school-aged children and their families during a time when they are vulnerable to falling behind academically.
If you or a loved one are experiencing abuse in your relationship, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)