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Mary

Permanent homes provide safety from domestic violence

A CBH resident’s story of recovery

Domestic violence is one of the top five causes of homelessness in the United States, and more than 80 per cent of mothers and children experiencing homelessness had previously experienced domestic violence (2009). KPCC recently reported on the role domestic violence has played in the 55 per cent increase in homeless women and children in LA County in 2016.

Permanent supportive homes, like those provided by Clifford Beers Housing, play an important role in addressing this crisis. Mary (pictured with other residents) has been left with mental and physical scars from abuse, but she insists that her story is one of hope. “Being in abusive relationships caused me to become homeless” says Mary, now a resident of CBH’s NoHo Senior Villas. “For years I coped, survived, worked successfully, and took good care of my children. But inside I was riddled with fear. Finally, my children told me that they were also being abused, and I fell apart. I had a major mental breakdown. I left in order to keep my children safe, but I couldn’t go back to work or maintain our own apartment.

One day I found myself alone in Starbucks, and I had a breakdown and was taken to a hospital. Through the hospital I was able to get into permanent housing. Now for three years I’ve lived in NoHo Senior Villas. There are support services in my building, and case managers who are on site all of the time to help my mental health. There are so many great things about having my permanent home. I finally live in a safe environment, and this place is affordable on my fixed income. Living in permanent supportive housing has helped me stop the cycle of abuse, so that I have more confidence and peace in my life.” Mary is now a housing advocate with the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s SpeakUp! program, where she speaks to lawmakers and the public about the need for more affordable homes.

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