Cynthia is a mother of three boys and one girl, all under the age of eleven. She ran away from an abusive husband in Georgia, and came to the West Coast looking for a new life. The five of them managed to rent a single room in a personal residence, where they hoped to be safe. But, the landlord was verbally abusive and disrespectful to the family, and they were desperate for help.
Initially, they came to LSS asking for basic items: food, clothes, shoes and hygiene articles. But there was another essential need.
Cynthia had secured employment for the first time in seven years, but she had no money to provide childcare during the summer months, when her children were out of school. LSS managed to pay for this critical need. We also provided case management and individual counseling to assist her in the transition she and her children faced.
We facilitated the family taking temporary refuge in a domestic violence shelter. Then, we helped Cynthia with applications for transitional housing and permanent housing. Finally, to help stop the cycle of poverty, our case managers referred her to a financial education program.
Homeless women with children are the most vulnerable members of our society. Those who have been abused physically or sexually are in the greatest of need. A rape occurs every 56 minutes in California. Every day in California, domestic violence shelters serve almost 6,000 women and children.
Domestic violence is a war being waged all over California. Unfortunately, most of the victims are all but invisible to the average citizen. But they are not overlooked by Lutheran Social Services. Our Victim Intervention Program (VIP) in Orange County embraces these victims, and assists them in transitioning to a safe, secure and sustainable existence.