A Woman’s Place (AWP) is one of many community benefit organizations in Bucks County providing better outcomes for people in need. We often serve the same clients in different ways. By working together to protect and assist those at risk, we make the community healthier and stronger than it would be otherwise.
For example, Mary (not her real name) and her two children fled an abusive living situation in late summer. They had few places to turn but were eventually permitted to stay temporarily with a family friend.
Their dog was not permitted to stay with the family at that location, but the Bucks County SPCA sheltered him at their facility free of charge.
Unfortunately, the family was exploited by a landlord who was raising the rent amount on a weekly basis until they could no longer afford to reside at that location. He was controlling and manipulative… as well as verbally and physically abusive. Mary was afraid of retaliation, because she learned he had a history of violence. In short, they were re-traumatized.
AWP First Response advocates received a call from Mary one evening that the landlord had sent over four thugs to scare her and her kids out of the home. “It was a very frightening experience,” says Mary. “They spit in my face, verbally abused me, and then threw all our belongings on the front lawn.” Without an official lease, she had little recourse but to go.
For the next several weeks, Mary and her children were forced to stay in a tiny motel room. AWP was thrilled that local organizations generously put her up during that transitional time but knew it wasn’t a long term solution.
First Response advocates reached out to the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) to see if they could help Mary find stable housing. After only a few short weeks, Mary was approved for their Rapid Re-Housing Program, which not only assists families in finding stable housing, but provides financial assistance as well.
BCOC Executive Director Erin Lukoss says that, “The Bucks County Opportunity Council is proud to partner with A Woman’s Place to help meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents in Bucks County.”
Mary, along with the assistance of BCOC, was able to find a perfect size home for her family. They are now thriving in their new independence and are over the moon that they finally have a safe place to call their own!
“So many people were willing to help. They didn’t make us feel insignificant; they treated us with respect, like normal people. We are so glad the family is going to be together at Christmas,” says Mary. “Our dog was at the SPCA for several weeks but now we have her back, too.”
AWP First Response Manager