Written By Claire Herbert, Victim Services Specialist

October, Domestic Violence Awareness month, is dedicated to providing education and awareness about Domestic Violence, commonly referred to as Intimate Partner Violence and includes Teen Dating Violence. According to breakthecycle.org, “nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.” Through the Huckleberry House Transitional Living Program (TLP), we serve young people who have experienced domestic and/or family violence through our Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program. We work closely with our young people to increase their feelings of safety and expand their support system as they transition to independent living.

Upon entering into VOCA young people are linked with a Counselor, Case Manager, Parenting Mentor (if parenting) and Victim Services Specialist (VSS). This team supports each young person develop a safety plan, begin to process their trauma, develop independent living skills, build healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, work towards educational and/or employment goals, and learn about the impact domestic violence and trauma can have on their children.

The TLP VOCA program works hard to build community among clients. There is a community office that is staffed by a Community Support Assistant (CSA) 24 hours a day that clients can visit to receive support, make food, or just hang out with staff or other clients. The CSA’s offer monthly groups to clients including cooking, exercise, learning about hair styles, knitting, and other topics clients are interested in exploring. There is also a monthly dinner held in the office for clients where they can engage with each other and their team. During dinner child-care is provided by a parenting mentor so our young people can have time to focus on themselves.

At TLP we aim to provide our survivors of domestic and family violence the tools and resources to transition to independent living and achieve their goals. Our staff does an excellent job of providing education and support to our clients and our client are great at building community and support among each other! Huckleberry House is also dedicated to providing community education to #breakthecycle of violence within our communities.