Holyoke agency awarded grant to help victims of domestic violence

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state is distributing $2.7 million to stop domestic violence.

This is much needed grant money to fund some key victims services.

WomanShelter Companeras in Holyoke says they rely on community donations and grant money to accomplish their mission. They were awarded $42,500.

They’ll use the money to fund a new staff position. The person in that position will advocate for domestic violence survivors.

“So what the advocate will do is have them come up with a self-identified plan for themselves and their children and then direct them to other services,” said Karen Blanchard, Development Director at WomanShelter Companeras. “So if they have mental health issue to mental health providers.”

The advocate could help them with legal issues, addiction services or with the police or DCF. WomanShelter Companeras gets about 4,000 calls on their domestic violence help hotline.

They shelter 75 women and 125 children each year by working with local landlords and housing authorities to find affordable safe spaces.

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