WASHINGTON, DC — In an effort to help prevent victims of domestic violence living with HIV/AIDS from falling into homelessness, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced more than $9 million to support eight local programs across the country working to protect and house these victims.
“This joint effort will help low-income individuals with HIV/AIDS who have survived domestic violence secure the vital services they need to reclaim their lives and restore their futures,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “The Justice Department is commit- ted to safeguarding the rights and opportunities of all Americans, including the most vulnerable among us. And in the days ahead, we will continue our work to ensure that every American – from every background – has the safety, security, and support that they deserve.”
“Every person, especially those fighting the effects of HIV/AIDS or looking to escape an abusive situation, deserves to live in a safe and stable environment,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Through this collaborative effort with the Justice Department, we’re able to help those living at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and domestic violence to secure the housing and health services they need to build a better future.”
The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and HUD’s Office of HIV-AIDS Housing collaborated to provide these grants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. Through this demonstration program, HUD will provide funding for housing assistance and supportive services to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Grantees are required to form partnerships between local HIV housing and service providers and domestic violence and sexual assault service providers for client outreach and engagement and for comprehensive supportive services to ensure client success in the program. Descriptions of the funded projects can be found here.
This demonstration follows a recommendation by the Federal Interagency Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender–Related Health Disparities to enhance federal efforts in addressing HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV) among homeless and marginally housed women and girls. While the working group focuses on women and girls, the housing assistance and supportive services provided through the demonstration will be open to all eligible clients regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or age.
OVW, headed by Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson, provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of VAWA and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalk-ing.
More information is available at www.justice.gov/ovw. The HOPWA program is the only federal program dedicated to addressing the housing needs of persons living with HIV/ AIDS and their families. Grantees partner with nonprofit organizations and housing agencies to provide housing and support to program beneficiaries.