What issue is Bethany Apartments designed to address?
Bethany Apartments provides transitional housing to victims of domestic abuse and their children. It allows survivors to obtain autonomy by building safe, stable and independent lives. This program addresses domestic abuse-related issues and the aftermath that many women and children face when leaving an unsafe environment. A trauma-sensitive approach is used to consider the specific needs of survivors and recognizes potential short and long-term barriers that they may face. Bethany Apartments assists by providing a space for individuals and their families to grow and heal after experiencing homelessness as a result of abuse.
The program’s goal is to empower residents and enhance their lives through an array of programming or connections to community resources regarding safety planning, mental health services, job readiness, parenting education, financial education, legal assistance and more. Bethany Apartment’s case manager and family advocate work with residents to meet their immediate and long-term needs and goals. Survivors served are not only healing from the trauma of the violence but are also economically disadvantaged.
What does Bethany Apartments do (overarchingly and on a daily basis)?
Staff work with applicants to determine if they meet eligibility requirements. If accepted, Bethany Apartments’ building and staff provide a safe and secure place for individuals to process, heal and progress towards their goals over a six to 24 month period. This includes providing residents with fully stocked and furnished apartments.
Once residents move in, they are offered a full range of services. Staff determine areas of interest with residents and begin services through case management and/or by connecting them with community partners. Bethany Apartments makes sure that their services address the needs of their underserved population and are culturally competent, accessible and are offered at no cost. Towards the end of their maximum 24-month stay, this program assists residents in finding resources regarding permanent housing and then provide follow-along services for a period of time after they move out. This includes encouragement to continue participating in groups, individual case management and more to ensure a smooth transition.
What is the impact of Bethany Apartments?
Bethany Apartments has served over 300 women and 400 children in the Racine County community. In the last 18 months, this program had all 12 of their apartments at capacity and have assisted in transitioning six families to next steps after moving out. This program has assisted multiple residents with job searches and continued career trainings and have also having assisted two residents in being equipped to continue their education.
Below is one account of the impact made by Bethany Apartments:
In the summer of 2021, a mother and her four children came to Bethany Apartments seeking assistance in fleeing a domestic abuse situation. The father of the youngest child had threatened the mother and children with a firearm and had been physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. This program was able to provide a safe and secure home for this family while they recovered from the trauma they endured. The mother was able to heal emotionally and physically while developing a financial plan to be independent with her four children. She obtained legal assistance through a connection Bethany Apartments provided and recently was able to purchase a new home for her family. She continues follow-along services, utilizing case management, attending an empowerment group and provides updates on her ongoing successes.
What does the future look like for Bethany Apartments?
With over three decades of service to the Racine County community, Bethany Apartments will continue to serve individuals for as long as needed to help break the cycle of abuse. With housing concerns being at the forefront for many, this program hopes to continue meeting the needs of community members. The program's hope is that the prevalence of domestic abuse dissipates and generalized housing needs are met for all individuals. Bethany Apartments believes in the collaboration and cohesiveness of community partners in order to meet the needs of the people and will continue to grow their involvement where it is needed.
Adam Brostowitz is the family advocate for Bethany Apartments.
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