Community leaders trying to stop domestic violence hold discussion about preventing homelessness

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It's a problem many people escaping an abusive relationship don't think about. If I leave where will I stay? Nearly half of all homeless women say they don't have a home because they left an abusive relationship.

Domestic violence leaders in Indianapolis came together to talk about more options to make these survivors feel safe.

It was a packed room filled with people talking about an issue that touches our neighbors, friends, and loved ones -- homelessness as a result of getting out of an abusive situation.

“The interesting thing about homelessness is it crosses every social issue that you can imagine. Domestic violence, leads to homelessness,” said CHIP Executive Director, Alan Witchey.

The Domestic Violence Network teamed up with the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) to have this community conversation. They say our area needs more resources as more people decide to leave and get help.

“We have seen an increase in the number of calls to domestic violence shelters and there is always a waiting list, a lot of the shelters have been maxed-out for years and are looking for new ideas to help those who experience violence,” said Domestic Violence Network Director of Programs and Research, Chris Handberg.

The problem could only get worse if these leaders don't address this on a local level as federal funding decreases.

“Last year, funding went dramatically down and this past year we got did gain a lot of that back, but we still have a great need for housing and supportive services that are just not met,” Witchey said.

The hope is that the community will step up.

"We need more people to be interested in solving this issue, more people to give donations and resources and we need more people to step up and make a difference,” Witchey said.

The discussion was part of the Domestic Violence Network’s three year plan introduced last month to end domestic violence in central Indiana.

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