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Observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month With a SOAR Success

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an occasion to acknowledge domestic violence survivors and elevate awareness of the issues they face and the resources that can help. In recognition of the occasion, we’re sharing a SOAR success story sent in by Lauren Rodriguez from the SAFE Alliance in Austin, Texas.

Sarah was a survivor of domestic violence, and she joined our rapid rehousing (RRH) program that we run at SAFE. She had disabilities related to both her physical and mental health, so she was referred to me by her RRH advocate.

Sarah’s application took an unusual amount of time due to the severity of her disabilities and the impact of COVID. I started working with her in January 2020 and filed her application in July 2021, and her decision was received in April 2022. Sarah had a difficult time trusting providers because of past experiences within the system and due to a fear her abuser had instilled in her. I had to work slowly and patiently with her until she trusted me enough to disclose information about her disabilities and allow me to help her access current medical care. COVID caused a lot more fear for Sarah because she was deemed high-risk, which made her less willing to receive care and meet with her housing advocate or me. Thankfully, by using telehealth appointments, masking, and e-signatures, we were able to continue working with Sarah while allowing her to feel safe.

Sarah was approved for SSI in April 2022, and with that decision, she has qualified for permanent housing. She no longer has to fear homelessness, and she is finally getting some of the stability she wanted in her life. She is able to buy food and provide for herself for the first time in almost 20 years, and that gives her such a great sense of pride. She also now has much better medical care and insurance, and for the first time “in my life,” she says, she is not in debilitating pain daily. She is getting her much-needed medications, physical therapy, and counseling, and she says she finally has hope for the future. She aspires to eventually work part-time once her doctors say she is able, and with her progress, they think that is possible in the next 6 months to a year. She has been able to enjoy abstinence from substance use for the past 3 months, which is the longest she can remember, and she now is able to have relationships with her two grandchildren and her children, which brings her so much joy.


September, 2022

Other Details

Resiliency and Recovery
Domestic Violence