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April 24, 2024

Long Beach Press-Telegram: WomenShelter Long Beach gets $850,000 in federal funding for transitional housing project


PUBLISHED: April 23, 2024 at 2:42 p.m. | UPDATED: April 23, 2024 at 2:43 p.m.

WomenShelter Long Beach, a nonprofit serving survivors of domestic violence, will soon build a new transitional housing facility for its clients — with help from a significant chunk of federal funding.

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, who represents California’s 44th Congressional District, helped secure $850,000 for the nonprofit’s project.

Congress members, during the 2024 fiscal year, were able to submit funding requests to the U.S. House of Representative’s Appropriations Committee for up to 15 community projects within their districts.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the money can make a difference to women and domestic violence survivors in the Long Beach area,” Barragán said in a Monday, April 22, interview. “Our focus was housing women, women empowerment and, of course, breaking the cycle — so this was an easy project to fund.”

Barragán presented WomenShelter Long Beach and its various leaders with the $850,000 check during a Monday ceremony.

WomenShelter Long Beach will use the funding to purchase and retrofit an existing house or apartment building, which will serve as a transitional housing facility for the nonprofit’s clients.

The organization has provided crucial services for women and children since its establishment in 1977 — and offers a comprehensive suite of services for domestic violence survivors, including safe housing, emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, legal advocacy and more.

WomenShelter has yet to select a site for the new facility, according to Lisette Flores, the nonprofit’s board president. The location, when selected, won’t be shared publicly to protect future residents, Flores said in a Monday interview.

“It could be in the flavor of a home, like what we have now,” Flores said, referencing WSLB’s existing emergency supportive housing shelter. “Or it could be like an apartment building where everyone has their own personal space.”

Ideally, according to WomenShelter’s director of development, Nicholas Maddox, the new facility will have six to eight units — which could house multiple people, such a women and their children, to a single room.

There isn’t a precise timeline for buying, retrofitting and opening the new facility, Flores said, though the goal is to have the project finished in the next six months to a year.

Once open, clients will be able to live in the transitional housing facility for up to a year and the’ll also have access to case management, therapy and employment services.

“I can personally say that the services and the work that our advocates do every single day makes a huge impact in everyone’s lives,” Jennifer Costa, WSLB’s director of outreach and education, said Monday. “Knowing that this continued support will be provided — it’s tremendous.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available 24/7 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 800-799-7233 or text ‘Begin’ to 88788.