Dr. Iain De Jong (Courtesy of the Press Democrat)
One of the reasons people experience homelessness is domestic violence. Though this is not what people usually think of when they hear the word “homelessness”, it should immediately make sense. What else would you call your situation, if you left your home, to escape your abuser? Therefore, the Federal Continuum of Care grants facilitated through the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), have long included grants for housing programs for domestic violence survivors.
One thing that survivors do share with others who experience homelessness, is that they need more than just housing. Often, they can find themselves with nothing more than the clothes on their back and what they could carry in their hands.
Regina*, a domestic violence survivor, had found refuge with our grantee, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center. She was working hard on rebuilding her life, was admitted into their housing program, and was able to save up enough money to pay her required portion of the rent on her apartment. She was still missing two things, so basic to rebuilding her life and remaining housed, that most of us take them for granted, furniture and transportation.
Aliah Henry, CEO, Dallas Furniture Bank
Luckily, her case manager, Jackie, knew who could help: The MDHA Flex Fund. The Flex Fund was designed by MDHA and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, with people just like Jackie in mind. The idea of the Flex Fund is simple. A person experiencing homelessness faces a minor but impactful expenditure that impedes the person from (making progress in) ending his or her homelessness. The Flex Fund pays for it. That’s all there is to it.
about the Flex
Fund. She shared with her that early on MDHA had formed a partnership with the
Dallas Furniture Bank to allow clients to obtain basic furniture, with the MDHA
Flex Fund footing the bill. Jackie and Regina
discussed what furniture would be most helpful to her. Regina chose a sofa, a chair and an end table
for her living room, a table and chair set for her dining room, and a full-size
bed, dresser and night stand for her bedroom. Jackie also shared with Regina that the Flex Fund
could pay for her DART Reduced ID card and the remaining 50% cost of a monthly
pass, as well. Regina
Door New Beginning
Center is a true lifeline for domestic violence survivors
like , in
bringing normalcy back into their lives. With the help of community partners
like MDHA, the Dallas Furniture Bank and DART working together with them, Hope’s
Regina Door New
can better help the “ ”
of our community in achieving a sense of stability in a new beginning,
full of hope. Reginas
* Client name has been changed to protect her privacy.