It Takes Community Collaboration
Earlier this year – while preparing to graduate high school – Elton had to choose between an abusive home life and homelessness. He made the brave decision to escape the cycle of abuse. As a result, Elton was homeless for months. He stayed with friends when he could and juggled school responsibilities with a part-time job. Can you imagine trying to plan your future when you don’t even know if you’ll have a roof over your head?
With support from programs like Best Single Source Plus, Green Doors, and SAFE, Elton has a home free from violence, a high school diploma, and he’s just started down an exciting new career path. Elton became an active member of SAFE’s Expect Respect program in his high school. The program offers services and resources to youth who experience domestic violence at home or are in violent dating relationships. Through Expect Respect, Elton had access to youth leadership training, counseling, and educational services.
While looking for affordable housing, Elton’s Expect Respect counselor reached out to the SAFE Survivor Advocacy Program. Survivor Advocacy connects clients to community resources to help them obtain employment, housing, protective orders, legal aid, public benefits, and several other forms of assistance. With help from Survivor Advocacy, Elton submitted an application for housing through Green Doors, an Austin agency working to make sure all Central Texas families and individuals have the opportunity to live in affordable, safe, quality housing. Green Doors approved Elton’s application and he signed his first lease.
Thanks to our partnership in the Best Single Source Plus Collaboration, the Survivor Advocacy staff was able to budget, help navigate affordable housing options, and access funds to furnish his new home. Elton is no longer homeless and no longer in a home marred by domestic violence. He just started an apprenticeship, which will help him become financially secure. He had the strength to make it happen. Our community came together to help make it a little easier for him.
SAFE is a merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace, both long-standing and respected human service agencies in Austin serving the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence. SAFE’s goal is ambitious and simple: stop abuse for everyone. Learn more about our services and programs, campuses, and locations of services at safeaustin.org.