Thursday, May 21, 2020


In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, program will provide immediate financial assistance to survivors experiencing safety, economic, and housing challenges

   Mayor de Blasio today announced a new emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence to provide funding for immediate safety, economic, and housing needs currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) will leverage its network of service providers to distribute funds to directly support survivors in need across the city. Funding for this program is provided by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. 

"Home should be a safe place for everyone in our city and we will not accept any other reality, now or after this crisis. We want any New Yorker experiencing violence at home to know that help is always available. New York City is here for survivors and we will continue to find new ways to ensure they are safe and supported,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“For the first time, New York City is putting critical dollars directly in the hands of survivors to help them find safety and stability during this unprecedented crisis,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Domestic violence leads to devastating immediate and long-term effects on families, children and survivors for generations that follow. This innovative approach can help create positive outcomes for survivors and break patterns of abuse and trauma.”

Aligned with the City’s efforts to help those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, this first-of-its-kind initiative will respond to the acute and unique needs of survivors. The pilot program will deliver “micro-grants” ranging in value based on need and follows evidence-based funding models that have emerged as powerful economic empowerment tools, particularly helpful in mitigating risk factors for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. The micro-grant model will enable service providers to file for funds on behalf of survivors directly with Sanctuary for Families, speeding access to funds. The program will utilize best practices from other successful models building upon existing City investments for survivors by opening a new stream of funds.

ENDGBV and its partners continue to inform the public about its services and COVID-19 resources through its agency website, its “NYC HOPE resources directory, and social media to ensure survivors know that help is available. The Office also created Resources for Survivors During COVID-19 – a page dedicated to COVID-19 resources and information. Helpful information on resources is sent out regularly through the Notify NYC system and the City’s LinkNYC system. Multi-lingual advertisements for NYC HOPE appear on Google Search, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and will also be featured in convenience stores, check cashing locations, laundromats, pharmacies and grocery stores. 

Last week, the City launched an ENDGBV COVID-19 response work group to prevent acts of domestic gender-based violence and best support survivors during the pandemic. The work group includes a diverse group of twenty providers representing multi-disciplinary services for survivors across the City including shelter, legal services, and counseling and mental health services. Providers from both small and large community-based organizations have representation in the work group, with an emphasis on those serving various communities citywide.
      The Mayor’s Fund is continuing to pursue additional funds to enhance this crucial resource through grassroots fundraising and partnerships with the philanthropic and business communities. Anyone can contribute to the program through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

“The COVID crisis compounds the challenges faced by survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze. “The de Blasio administration is committed to empowering all survivors with the tools to meet their immediate needs for safety, stability and economic security. This innovative pilot program achieves just that.”

“COVID-19 puts into sharp focus the vulnerabilities that many people in our city face every day, especially gender-based violence survivors; and it highlights the barriers and challenges that we know keep people from seeking help and finding safety,” said ENDGBV Commissioner Cecile Noel. “This funding will provide crucial support for survivors. The City is here for survivors during this crisis and beyond, and will continue to work to identify best practices and innovative approaches to enhance its services.”
“Every New York deserves to feel safe in their home and community, but too often that isn’t the case for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “During these trying times, it is more crucial than ever to get resources into the hands of those who need them most. The Mayor’s Fund is grateful that, through our trusted network of partners, we’re able to implement this innovative model to help survivors achieve stability.”
“The COVID-19 health crisis has exposed an already vulnerable population to further peril as stay-at-home orders compound economic hardship for survivors of gender based violence,” said Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families. “Sanctuary for Families is proud to be working hand-in-hand with ENDGBV and the Mayor’s Fund to ensure that survivors have access to the resources they need to maintain their safety as well as economic and housing stability. We applaud the City’s efforts to mitigate risk factors for survivors of domestic violence through the distribution of micro grants, which will be a powerful tool in helping survivors across New York City weather this crisis.”

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