Hamilton, MT Domestic Violence Shelter Obtains DOJ Grant

by jhwygirl

S.A.F.E. (Supporters of Abuse Free Environments), of Hamilton, recently scored a $483,148 grant provide safe, affordable transitional housing to domestic violence survivors and assist survivors with developing a plan to achieve self-sufficiency.

The money will be used to help provide housing for 6-24 months to families, along with follow-up care and support.

S.A.F.E. is the only agency in Ravalli County that provides this sort of support, and this grant will provide sorely needed safe housing, along with ensuring that it’s 24-hour support of domestic violence not only continues, but is able to meet the needs of the community. Previous budget cuts have made it a difficult road for this important organization.

A 2008 article from the Ravalli Republic details some of the extent of domestic violence in Ravalli County.

Congratulations. Not only will those funds go towards breaking the cycle of violence, they’ll help enable women, children and families towards productive lives – along with providing a nice economic boost to an ailing construction and development industry in the region.

  1. In Wyoming, being beaten by your spouse is a pre-existing condition, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage. Is this also true in Montana?

    Thanks for the coverage and the stats, jhwygirl.

  2. Pogo Possum

    Thanks, jhwyGirl, for the heads up on the DOJ grant to help S.A.F.E provide transitional housing to victims of domestic violence. This is a valuable program that will do tremendous good for many people in the Bitterroot Valley.

    I would like to point out some other programs worth noting that are somewhat “under radar” but still extremely beneficial to victims of domestic violence.

    First, check out the various programs offered through the Missoula YWCA to assist people obtain short term emergency housing (45 days) , transitional housing (18 months) and financial help (assistance with rent deposits) for qualified individuals and families. http://www.ywcaofmissoula.org/?q=node/4

    This last one (rental assistance) is practical, simple in concept and brilliant. With all the talk about homelessness, we often forget that many working families with incomes are homeless simply because they cannot afford the upfront deposits (damage deposit and or first month rent) landlords require to move into a place. They can afford the rent, they just don’t have the upfront money to move in.

    Through the assistance of a generous donor, the Missoula YWCA set up a small fund to loan a portion of the upfront money to people to help them sign a lease and move into an apartment or house. As people repay the loans, money becomes available to assist other people in need.

    If you really want to do more than just talk about homelessness, make a contribution to the Missoula YWCA so they have a larger pool of money to assist more people meet the required up front money to move into a home. I will make my contribution very soon. While you are at it, call Cindy Weese (Executive Director), Patty Murphy (Transitional housing Manager), Julie Maturen (Development Director) or any of the other staff and ask what you can do to help. Phone: 406-543-6691.

    Another program passed by the legislature in 2007 (HB 240 – Bill Nooney, sponsor) but just becoming available to the public is the Temporary Emergency Lodging program.

    This is a voluntary temporary emergency lodging program for licensed establishments located in Montana to assist designated charitable organizations in providing short-term lodging in Montana to individuals and families displaced from their residences because of temporary immediate danger from an assault or potential assault by a partner or family member.

    Participating establishments are eligible for a tax credit for up to 5 nights of lodging for each individual per calendar year. For more information about the tax credit, contact Brian Olsen at the Department of Revenue: phone 406-444-2994; email bolsen@mt.gov or call the Missoula YWCA.

    A list of approved charitable organizations throughout Montana is available at the Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence web site.organizations throughout Montana is available at the Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence web site.

    This program is desperately needed in many areas of the State, especially rural areas and the Reservations, where victims of domestic violence do not have immediate access to domestic violence shelters. It will even help larger urban areas such as Missoula. While the local YWCA has a shelter, there are times when it is full and staff members have to scramble to find alternative space, often at a cost to their limited budget.

    Rep. Bill Nooney deserves a thank you for sponsoring this legislation while working with the Missoula YWCA and state wide domestic violence organizations.

    • caitlincopple

      Thank you, Pogo Possum, for your kind words about the YWCA, and I’d like to add my congratulations to SAFE for the well-deserved grant.

      Just to clarify, the YWCA does not offer financial assistance for rent payment to the general public. We do offer financial assistance to obtain housing through a revolving loan fund to eligible people currently living in our housing program or in our shelter.

  3. Congratulations S.A.F.E.! There are so many in need of your resources! The housing that this grant will provide is wonderful, but more importantly the follow-up care and support will help improve lives beyond imagination! Being a former victim of spousal abuse, I commend anyone stepping up to the plate to help put the nightmares to an end! That is why I wrote No Part of Their World, published ny Eloquent Books. ( It can also be found on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com) It is my goal to raise awareness of this on-going problem and help give victims the courage and stregnth to better their lives. Sometimes it seems hopeless, but with resources such as S.A.F.E., we are one step closer to stopping these cycles! Keep up the good work!

  4. problembear

    very sad to hear of judy wang’s death this evening. a courageous woman who helped many other courageous women get free from violence at home.


    • Pogo Possum

      I agree, PBear. Judy’s death is very sad and tragic. She worked hard to help untold numbers of women in need. She will be missed by many.

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