HOLLAND, Michigan — Several people and families will receive housing assistance from a Holland-based nonprofit this year thanks to extra federal dollars.

The Center for Women in Transition, an organization that serves victims of sexual and domestic violence, received a bonus award from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development of more than $53,000.

The money comes on top of a renewed HUD grant of $117,592, which funds a portion of the CWIT supportive housing program.

The system provides rental assistance and other supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence for two years. CWIT housed 31 families in 2018.

“The lack of affordable housing is the largest barrier for families trying to flee domestic violence,” said Program Director Holly Jasinski. "When faced with the choice of living on the street or going back to their abuser, they're often going to go back to their abuser because they don't have a way to get back on their feet."

The bonus funding will allow CWIT to help six to eight families with housing, said Executive Director Beth Larsen. The money is only for 2019 and will be devoted to security deposits, first month’s rent and some extended rental assistance.

“[It’s] for those families that just need a little bit of time to build up a reserve, get on their feet, build that foundation and then be successful on their own beyond that,” Larsen said.

Ottawa County homeless services received all of their renewal funding from HUD in 2019. The grant money will be available this summer. 

“No one deserves to be abused, and you have a right to be safe in your home,” Jasinski said.

For 24-hour help from the Center for Women in Transition call: 616-392-1970 or 800-848-5991 Español: 866-728-2131.

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