Rising costs impacting Safe Shelter’s efforts to help victims of domestic violence

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The high costs of goods and housing continues to put pressure on family spending nation wide and right here in the Coastal Empire.

Nonprofits like Safe Shelter, which helps victims of domestic violence, are also feeling the pinch.

The need for the kind of help Safe Shelter provides in the Savannah area, isn’t going away anytime soon.

In fact...

“We have absolutely made a big jump every year,” said executive director Cheryl Branch.

Cheryl Branch, Executive Director of Safe Shelter, says those needing refuge from domestic violence has jumped from 1,332 between July of 2018 and June of 2019 to 1,885 between July of 2021 and June of this year.

And Branch wagered a guess as to why victims are seeking their services instead of moving elsewhere.

“I think the lack of housing, affordable housing has a lot to do with it. I really do.”

Branch says victims that come to safe shelter are given vouchers to help them cover rent for some place else to live, but lately, that voucher amount is falling short.

“It is a routine thing for us to have a woman, two or three kids, she has a voucher. She cannot find a house or an apartment that her voucher will cover.”

Branch says while Safe Shelter will never turn away a victim of domestic violence, it’s still a challenge with rising costs of goods to buy supplies for those in the shelter with less public support than they need right now.

“You know, we’re still feeling the pandemic in that regard. I think that people are still more cautious with their charitable giving.”

Branch says grant funding has also not increased to match the rising cost of goods and services Safe Shelter provides, which puts more pressure on their yearly fundraiser in November to be a success.

Still, she says the work Safe Shelter does in the community will continue on.

“We have not cut any programs, we have not cut any services. And I don’t foresee that coming anytime soon.”