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UNHS Behavioral Health receives domestic violence housing grant

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UNHS Behavioral Health receives domestic violence housing grant

UNHS Behavioral Health Director Rick Hendy reported recently that a new grant from the State of Utah’s Office for Victims of Crime will help domestic violence victims find immediate emergency housing and assistance.

  According to Hendy this $200,000 grant is being offered for the first time this year. It was granted to ten sites throughout Utah on a test basis. This same program has been successful in the State of Oregon and Hendy is hopeful it can have the same results in Utah.

  “We are very fortunate to be one of the ten recipients of this grant,” Hendy said. “The philosophy behind the grant is that in many domestic violence cases housing is the first need. If you assist in finding stable housing a lot of other problems can be resolved.”

  The grant is specific for the Navajo community and takes into account many cultural aspects. The goal is to get victims into immediate housing. If police respond to a domestic victim call, even in the middle of the night, One of the UNHS victim advocates on call can respond. UNHS will have voucher agreements with various hotels and they can get the victim and her children into a hotel with a voucher that night, if necessary. 

  “If the victim can stay in the home, but needs help with utilities, rent or other expenses, we can also assist them through the first three months,” Hendy continued. “The idea is to help find emergency housing first, then help find long-term housing, a job, money for day care or even some costs associated with going back to school.”

  Hendy also explained that if the victim is in a mobile home, and the home is in an unsafe location, funds can be used to relocate the mobile home to a safe place. In some cases, where a shelter is available, funds can be used to place a victim and her children in an available shelter. This has been a concern at times because victims have had to go to Moab, Richfield or other locations far from their home for shelter availability. 

  Last week UNHS Behavioral Health hosted a conference in which the topic of shelters and shelter availability were discussed. Many of the area’s shelter administrators were in attendance. Hendy said this was the first-ever such meeting and a lot of good information was shared. Shelter administrators from places like Farmington, Durango, Kayenta, and Moab attended. Lynn Bia and the UNHS Behavioral Health team used the conference room in the new Montezuma Creek Community Health Center to host a packed house. 

  The Gentle Iron Hawk shelter in Blanding has also been the subject of negotiations in recent months with a goal of finding an appropriate organization to administer the shelter and provide aide for local victims of domestic violence. Hendy said the negotiations are ongoing and the hope is to make the Blanding shelter available for use in the near future.

  Hendy added that once emergency housing is secured for domestic violence victims, long-term housing expenses could also include costs of getting into an apartment and transportation in some cases. The State of Utah will assess the results of the grant after one year and determine whether or not it should continue.


UNHS Behavioral Health hosts conference in new building...

The new Montezuma Creek Community Health Center was the site of a recent conference in which the availability of womens shelters in the area was discussed. UNHS Behavioral Health hosted the event in the building’s conference room. Behavioral Health Director Rick Hendy says housing is one of the immediate needs for women who are victims of domestic violence. UNHS recently received a $200,000 grant to address this need.  Staff