Cheryl, like many survivors of domestic violence, had to make the difficult choice to either stay in a life-threatening situation with her abuser or leave for an uncertain future. As the abuse in her marriage worsened, she came to realize she had to leave for her own safety. Courageously, Cheryl fled her situation and obtained a restraining order on her abuser.
Cheryl stayed in her car after leaving until she could get back on her feet. Sadly, with nowhere to turn, Cheryl began living in her car. She lived in her car for over two years. Cheryl says, “From time to time I would stay at a motel just so I could lay in a bed. I stayed in my car a pretty long time. It was not a good experience living in my car. At night, I had nowhere to use the restroom. It was really terrible.”
In winter 2020, Cheryl obtained shelter through the Interfaith Shelter Network and began meeting with a CRC case manager, Chad. Cheryl met with Chad to work toward her goal of obtaining housing and received food at CRC’s Food & Nutrition Center. Cheryl says, “I appreciate everything that you do at Community Resource Center because without it I would be in bad shape.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in the spring, it became even more critical for Cheryl to find a safe place to call home. Cheryl continued to work hard with her case manager to find a housing opportunity. In July 2020, Cheryl found a room to rent. With the help of deposit and rental assistance from CRC and the Opening Doors Program and COVID-19 funds, Cheryl moved out of her car and into her new home.
Cheryl says, “I just know that things are so much better off because of the work that CRC does. And especially right now with Covid, it really is a godsend because without CRC I would still be on the streets. I don’t know where I would be.”
Sadly, domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, between 22 and 57% of all homeless women report that domestic violence was the cause of their homelessness and 63% of homeless women have been victims of intimate partner violence. Survivors face homelessness and economic instability when they flee abusive homes.
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