ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced more than $1.5 million in federal funding will be directed to state-licensed domestic violence service providers for mobile devices and improved Wi-Fi access. The new technology will allow programs and shelters to better help victims and survivors of domestic violence who are dealing with increased isolation and difficulty accessing services due to COVID.
Led by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, the state’s COVID-19 Domestic Violence Task Force recommended that the state prioritize access to mobile advocacy, which is even more important as the state faces a surge of the virus.
Additionally, New York has also added a request for proposals (RFP) to create a housing navigator system in each of the 10 regions throughout the state. Navigators will work with survivors to help them access resources and housing beyond shelters. And, these navigators will work with advocates to help them better understand the process and assist with their clients’ housing needs. The deadline to respond to the RFP, which makes $2.5 million in federal and state funding available, is Friday, Feb. 26.
As part of the effort to prioritize access to mobile advocacy, New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services has awarded $1,529,000 to 89 nonprofit organizations across New York State to purchase and upgrade mobile technology. The need for improved Wi-Fi access at domestic violence shelters is critical because many school districts have moved to hybrid or all-remote learning.
Here is a list of Capital Region and North Country providers receiving awards:
- Behavioral Health Services North: $19,000
- Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties: $14,000
- Community Action of Greene County: $11,000
- Equinox: $32,000
- Hamilton County Department of Social Services: $1,000
- Lewis County Opportunities: $1,000
- Mechanicville Area Community Services Center: $4,000
- St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence: $14,000
- Unity House of Troy: $42,000
- Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County: $28,000
- Wellspring (Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County): $2,000
- YWCA of Schenectady: $54,000
New York State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline can be reached by dialing 1-800-942-6906, texting 844-997-2121 or chatting at opdv.ny.gov. For a list of domestic violence hotlines by county, visit the New York State Domestic Violence Directory. The Office of Victim Services also funds a network of more than 200 community-based programs that support victims of crime and their families.