The city introduced a new program this week hoping to make survivors of domestic and gender-based violence feel safer during the COVID-19 crisis.
On May 21, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence to provide funding for immediate safety and economic and housing needs currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with nonprofit Sanctuary for Families, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) it will leverage its network of service providers to distribute funds to directly supporting survivors in need across the city. Funding 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,” the mayor said. “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.”
The pilot program will deliver “microgrants” ranging in value based on need and follows evidence-based funding models. The microgrant model will enable service providers to file for funds on behalf of survivors directly with Sanctuary for Families, speeding access to funds.
Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, praised the program.
“As many New Yorkers are struggling with financial hardship and instability as a result of COVID-19, the pandemic can have an even more devastating effect on survivors of domestic and gender based violence,” Gibson said. “I commend the administration for providing this support at such a crucial time and we must continue to work with advocates, CBOs, and our nonprofit partners to support, empower and uplift survivors during these challenging times.”
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.
“As stay-at-home orders are extended for New York City residents, it is critical that vulnerable survivors of domestic violence are provided with the necessary financial resources to protect their safety and economic security,” said Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “I am grateful to the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Sanctuary for Families for this important initiative to provide direct financial relief for survivors and look forward to the program’s success.”
The mayor’s fund is continuing to pursue additional monies to enhance this 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.