Legal-name: SU CASA ~ ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Address: 3750 E. Anaheim Street Suite 100
City: Long Beach
Officer: Anna Conti, Executive Director
ContactName: Anna Conti
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: Support to maintain operations and meet increased service demand and complexity owing to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Periodoftime: 12 months
Audienceserved: Low income, ethnically diverse victims of domestic violence and their children
Demoofaudience: Typically, 65% of the Su Casa’s shelter residents served are between the ages of 0-17 years; 5% are 18-24 years; and 30% are between the ages of 25-59 years. Data from our most recently completed fiscal year shows that 100% of shelter residents report income below the Federal Poverty level, with 77% receiving public assistance. Some Su Casa clients are in the process of applying for citizenship and nearly two-thirds report they were abused as children. 53% of our families describe themselves as Latinx, 27% African American, 7% White, 2% Native American/Pacific Islander, and 11% are unknown or other. Su Casa’s close affiliation with the LGBTQ Center in Long Beach has enabled Su Casa to customize its programs to meet the needs of LGBTQ survivors.
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : Su Casa provides prevention and intervention programs for survivors of domestic violence (DV) who are struggling to address the devastating physical, psychological, and economic repercussions of interpersonal violence. Su Casa requests funding to support core services that are being threatened amid the coronavirus crisis including shelter and behavioral health services. Su Casa transforms victims into survivors, helping them escape the bonds of abuse and establish healthy, independent lives. The requested funding will support the following:
Su Casa’s 22-bed Emergency Shelter provides a clean and attractive home for victims and their children in a confidential location for up to 45 days. Su Casa’s Emergency Shelter has traditionally accommodated 6-8 families at a time with all their basic needs provided at no cost. However, the realities of serving families during a pandemic means that Su Casa is able to accommodate fewer families (due to social distancing) and must provide hotel/motel vouchers to individuals who arrive at the shelter with a fever/illness and/or who exceed our capacity in terms of numbers served.
The 24-bed Transitional Shelter consists of five shared apartments. The children’s area, counseling offices, and an outside area are closed as a result of the Coronavirus. Families have traditionally received counseling, parenting classes, life skills training, case management, financial literacy training, household establishment assistance, budgeting, and job search assistance. The current pandemic has prompted several changes in how services can be provided.
Behavioral Health Services available through our shelter programs include counseling, life skills, parenting classes, case management, financial literacy and budgeting, and job search assistance. The Coronavirus has precipitated a shift from face-to-face interaction to virtual sessions for case management, counseling and other services. All services are culturally and linguistically appropriate and designed to help victims maintain stability for the long term.
Domestic violence (DV) victims and their children are being impacted by COVID-19 and its mandatory lockdowns in several ways. According to Time Magazine, The National Domestic Violence Hotline has reported that the Coronavirus is being weaponized by abusers across the country as a means of further isolating victims. Moreover, abusers are threatening victims with expulsion from the home, and withholding financial resources and medical assistance. Individuals who abuse their spouses have issues around power and control. As community residents collectively begin to experience a greater lack of control over our lives, individuals who have difficulty managing such feelings will have even greater propensity to lash out violently.
Individuals in abusive situations will likely find themselves facing more extreme violence as a result of COVID-19 with fewer avenues – like work and visiting friends – for reprieve.
In addition, the current crisis makes it more difficult for victims to seek help because health systems are becoming overloaded and women are reporting increasing reluctance to seek medical care after being abused for fear they will contract the virus. Further, victims are reluctant to go to the homes of parents or other family members for fear of exposing them to the virus which may well lead to an increase in clients seeking refuge at Su Casa.
If the coronavirus crisis, as expected, causes a worldwide recession, victims will find it increasingly difficult to leave abusive relationships. Victims often save money in secret for months prior to leaving – an impossibility if these victims lose their jobs. Further, making contact with resources – via hotlines or online searches – is further complicated by the victim and abuser being trapped together in the home. Providers like Su Casa will have to increasingly rely on digital services to maintain safe, confidential communication with victims.
In the past four weeks, Su Casa has had to come to terms with a stark new reality that presents numerous challenges that include, but are not limited to:
● Su Casa will need to lay off 13-15 employees in the coming weeks and will need to transition additional staff to working from home.
● Victims must be screened for signs of fever upon intake and, if they exhibit signs of fever/illness, will be provided with alternate housing arrangements and quarantined for 14 days.
● Victims in our Emergency and Transitional Shelters must be housed in accordance with rules around social distancing including reducing the number of families who can be housed at the shelters.
● Costs at our shelters are already increasing rapidly as survivors adhere to the “stay at home” mandate which prevents them from developing skills, obtaining employment, and preparing to move into independent housing leading to higher costs for housing, food, utilities, cleaning supplies and more.
● School closures require that students have access to computers and internet connectivity to continue to learn, yet social distancing has compelled Su Casa to close its computer center and explore other options.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : The requested grant funding will help roughly 200 victims of domestic violence and their children by sustaining vital human and social service programming. Our clients will benefit by having access to safe, stable shelter and behavioral health interventions and Su Casa will benefit from having the resources necessary to meet the many challenges associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. Funding will specifically position Su Casa to survive the present crisis by providing support in the following areas:
Infrastructure and staffing: Funding will enable Su Casa to successfully transition staff to work-from-home options as necessary and to provide food cards and financial support for medical expenses to employees.
Emergency and Transitional Shelter: Funding will enable Su Casa to ensure that shelters are safe and able to accommodate the needs of clients throughout the pandemic by ensuring new arrivals and/or those presenting with fever/illness are able to quarantine for a minimum of two weeks. Funding will support motel/hotel vouchers and food cards for these clients and their children.
Information technology: Funding will support Su Casa’s efforts to keep victims and their children connected to behavioral health services and school programming by allowing clients in various areas of the shelter to access the internet and/or provide computer hardware that will allow for wireless connection to the internet.
Overhead/Shelter Operations: Funding will also support the operating costs at the shelters that are increasing rapidly including food costs, utilities, cleaning supplies, internet connectivity and computer costs.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : Su Casa will serve victims of domestic violence from the communities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk, Paramount, and Downey. Su Casa receives referrals from local law enforcement, hospitals, and medical centers, as well as other shelters and violence-prevention organizations. We draw our shelter clients from the cities we serve, from throughout Los Angeles County, and victims fleeing from other counties and other states due to safety considerations.
Last year 65% of the 189 shelter residents served were between the ages of 0-17 years; 5% were 18-24 years; and 30% were between the ages of 25-59 years. 100% of shelter residents report income below the Federal Poverty level, with 77% receiving public assistance. Some Su Casa clients are in the process of applying for citizenship and nearly two-thirds report they were abused as children. 53% of our families describe themselves as Latinx, 27% African American, 7% White, 2% Native American/Pacific Islander, and 11% are unknown or other. Su Casa’s close affiliation with the LGBTQ Center in Long Beach has enabled Su Casa to customize its programs to meet the needs of LGBTQ survivors. Our staff is trained to meet the needs of this marginalized population.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: To date, Su Casa has not received any other COVID-19 crisis funding.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for? To date, Su Casa has not applied for any other COVID-19 crisis funding. However, we will be applying to Sempra Energy this week.