May 10th, 2013 By ANDREA DAMEWOOD | News | Posted In: Health, Activism, PDX News

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, Closed for Budget Cuts, Reopens as Group Home

vday_ywca_3914WW Illustration

The YWCA Yolanda House—closed as an emergency shelter for women fleeing domestic violence in February—has a new mission.

WW wrote about Yolanda House’s struggles in a Feb. 6 cover package about violence against women. Women could go to Yolanda House in emergency cases, and stay in the secure facility for up to 60 days.

Now, the shelter is being run by Oregon City-based Recovery Association Project as a long-term group home for domestic abuse survivors, Development Director Nancy Kline tells WW

Women can stay as long as they want until they get the skills, jobs and stability they need to find permanent housing on their own, she explains. The model is based on one used in the drug recovery community known as the Oxford House Program, Kline says.

The houses are run by the people living in them, who serve as peer support and help newcomers connect with service they need. Support staff from RAP visit weekly and are on call. People pay rent of about $400 a month, and the cost to the nonprofit is about $400 per bed per year, Kline says.

The 10-bed Yolanda House—a secure facility with round-the-clock employees—cost about $600,000 a year.

“It’s cheap,” Kline says of the model, “but we know it works.”

RAP—which also runs group homes for recovering addicts and chronically homeless women—has opened five houses for long-term domestic violence recovery in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

Yolanda House closed March 1 as an emergency shelter, and RAP took over right away. Right now there are seven beds available, but Kline says her nonprofit plans to expand it to 14 soon.

RAP is holding a Mother’s Day-themed tea tomorrow from 3 pm to 4:30 pm at Miracles Club, 4200 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. Details can be found here.

“Yolanda house isn’t totally lost,” Kline says. 

 
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