Legal-name: Interval House
Address: 6615 East Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 170
City: Long Beach
Officer: Carol A. Williams, Executive Director
ContactName: Carol A. Williams
Title: Executive Director
Tel-952: (562) 594-9492
GrantPurpose: As the largest and oldest consecutively running domestic violence program in Long Beach, headquartered in our City since 1979, Interval House respectfully requests $20,000 in grant funding from the Long Beach Community Foundation to address increased domestic violence survivor needs and to support expanded essential shelter services that are critically needed during the current COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety, stability, health, and wellbeing of domestic violence victims in Long Beach.
Periodoftime: April through December 2020
Audienceserved: Victims of domestic violence and their families in Long Beach.
Demoofaudience: Vulnerable Long Beach community members who are survivors of domestic violence with limited access to critically-needed resources for safety and housing stability, including diverse immigrant households and families with children and youth.
District: All (1-9)
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : In California, we are nearing the one-month mark of statewide Safer at Home orders and as of mid-April, the City of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services is reporting 350 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Long Beach. In an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, governments all over the country and the world have implemented movement restrictions and shelter-in-place policies, with an unintended consequence of increasing danger for domestic violence victims. Heightened economic instability combined with prolonged frustration and sustained confinement in close proximity are causing the frequency and severity of violence to escalate in volatile households. As a result, we are seeing cases of abuse ranging from control and isolation from victims’ families to aggressive verbal attacks and violent physical assaults.
In response to this dual public health crises, Interval House is working 24/7 as an essential services provider in Long Beach (41 years) to coalesce our life-saving domestic violence services with disaster recovery services to achieve concurrent goals of keeping victims safe and mitigating the spread of the infectious disease. During this unprecedented time of need, Interval House continues to operate a full continuum of housing services (24-hour emergency shelters, transitional housing, homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing) and comprehensive supportive services in the highest risk and lowest income communities in Long Beach and surrounding communities. Our hotlines have experienced palpable increases in requests for domestic violence assistance from community members whose abusive homes are not safe options for physical distancing and quarantines—and our shelters are operating at fully capacity.
To keep our shelter environments safe from the potential spread of COVID-19, Interval House has implemented detailed cleaning schedules and physical distancing protocols when possible for shelter staff and program participants. We have purchased supplementary safety and sanitation supplies such a hand sanitizers, disinfectants, masks and gloves for use in our shelter, community clinics, and outreach programs to protect our frontline workers, program participants, and community members. Many of our non-shelter administrative staff are now working remotely from home and we have purchased additional computers, laptops, and printers and set up secure remote connections for our staff to facilitate this transition. To ensure safe, healthy, and sanitary working conditions for our service locations, we have hired a cleaning company to sanitize and disinfect our sites several times a week for the foreseeable future.
Interval House is also working closely with our public and private sector partners to provide coordinated responses to survivors during the COVID-19 crisis, including: local business owners (e.g., grocery stores, food establishments, etc.), housing providers (e.g., Apartment Association CA Southern Cities), area high schools (e.g., Wilson High School, Jordan High School), government entities (e.g., Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services), and philanthropic organizations to help victims of violence achieve safety and stability. Services include, e.g.,: emergency housing assistance; purchase and delivery of groceries, foods, and home supplies; linkages to health and medical care; and social services and safety nets for children, youth, and families.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : General operating funds from the Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund will enhance our ability to provide an increased number of domestic violence victims with expanded essential services and health and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread. Our shelters are at capacity; however, we will be able to expand beyond our normal capacity by roughly 25%, in addition to increasing our capacity through safety net hotels.
Interval House is a five-time Presidential Award-winning program headquartered in our beloved City of Long Beach since 1979. We are the largest and oldest consecutively running domestic violence program in Long Beach, UNIQUELY offering services in 70+ languages in-house, and specializing in serving individuals who face complex cultural, ethnic, personal, and socio-economic barriers. Our emergency shelter program offers a safe, confidential environment for victims. The average length of stay is 30-45 days and we strive to reduce shelter stays by prioritizing placement into safe permanent housing. Interval House is the leading provider of rental assistance in Long Beach, and we have the unique capacity to leverage additional funds to transition victims into safe, stable permanent housing.
As a result of COVID-related burdens that exacerbate the physical, emotional and financial
toll on victims, we will enhance mental health therapy and counseling (leveraged by other funds). We will continue to offer a full range of survivor-driven, trauma-informed services that promote individual pathways for healing and self-sufficiency, and respects each victim’s self-identified goals, including mental health therapy; case management; resources for basic needs and mainstream benefits; legal services; financial empowerment; employment services; and other identified needs to achieve stability. All services are provided by a unique, award-winning staff of whom 98% are multilingual, culturally diverse and have been personally affected by domestic violence.
The grant will support expanded health and safety measures, including: increased routine cleaning schedules for facility spaces; increased laundering of bed and kitchen linens; and the regular scheduling of an additional cleaning company to disinfect our shelter facilities. We are providing additional sterilizing and protective supplies (masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, etc.) onsite to ensure the safety of shelter clients and staff. Isolation protocols are being implemented for residents who are symptomatic (i.e., cough, fever, shortness of breath). Increased food deliveries will be provided for shelter residents to support dietary needs and contactless interactions. Shelters will also post culturally appropriate signs that encourage enhanced personal hygiene, hand washing, and covering of mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing to prevent the possible spread of the infectious disease.
Funding will also improve our efforts to prevent homelessness by supporting hotel vouchers for victims when our primary emergency shelter facilities are full; when communicable health issues (COVID-19 or otherwise) pose a risk for other families in shelter; when individuals in immediate danger need to relocate temporarily; and for individuals waiting to come into shelter. We have established reduced-cost contracts with local hotels, which are located within walking distance from Interval House facilities to ensure that comprehensive support services are safely and easily accessible.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? Interval House’s four decades of service to the Long Beach community has taught us that sometimes, home is not the safest place to be. With the State California’s Safer at Home order extended until May 15, sheltering-in-place is not necessarily the safest option for some of our neighbors. The complex and difficult determination to leave an abuser is a deeply personal and courageous decision. But studies have shown that ending an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for a victim and their children, and now, this difficult process is compounded by the multifaceted fears and uncertainty of a public health pandemic.
Requested funds will strengthen Interval House’s ability to assist victims of domestic violence in Long Beach through expanded essential services for safe shelter and 24/7 emergency support.
We specialize in serving the highest-barrier homeless victim households, including those facing the most challenging cultural, personal, and socio-economic obstacles to housing stability and self-sufficiency. Over 96% of families who turn to us are extremely low- to low-income; more than 80% of our population do not speak English or has limited English proficiency; 75% are unemployed and lack savings or job skills as a result of physical, emotional, and financial abuse at home; and over 85% of callers who contact Interval House were previously turned away from other providers due to language barriers, lack of space, or lack of expertise in services needed by the victim. Other barriers include post-traumatic stress syndrome, low self-esteem, severe isolation, poor life and parenting skills, little or no employment history or job skills, critical needs for legal help and medical attention, and safety concerns. Added to these vulnerabilities, victims face other debilitating issues such as childhood abuse, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness.
Interval House has sheltered over 20,000 adults and children and counseled over 800,000 victims. We have surpassed all of HUD and local performance outcomes, including: 98% of participants secured permanent housing at program exit; 91% of adults increased income; and 98% of head of households achieved all individualized goals. Interval House will continue to collaborate with our local housing, business, educational, philanthropic, and social services partners, all of who are especially dedicated to delivering effective, efficient, and coordinated care for Long Beach residents. These multi-way referrals ensure that households in need have access to a wide range of services regardless of which entity they connect with first. Interval House has had tremendous success in utilizing this collaborative services delivery model over the past four decades and will continue to strengthen these partnerships to provide valuable COVID-19 disaster recovery services.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: Interval House received $20,000 from the Long Beach Community Foundation to provide emergency flexible funding for Long Beach households that have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis to help bring economic stability for distressed individuals and families. We are so hopeful that you will also support our critical domestic violence shelter programs, which has been the heart and soul of our work in Long Beach for over 40 years.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Interval House has requested COVID-19 related funding support from the City of Long Beach and we are in the process of seeking guidance from our public sector funding partners (regarding the use of existing contract funds from programs such as Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and HOME to support COVID-19 response activities.