We are proud to have contributed to this article in the AJC about the rise in domestic violence fatalities and the dire need for affordable housing for domestic violence survivors in Georgia.
"When people aren’t able to access affordable housing, [WRC's Ayonna] Johnson said, shelters across Georgia fill up. Full shelters were a key contributor to increased domestic violence fatalities during the pandemic. COVID-19 protocols forced shelters to reduce their capacities, making them harder for domestic violence victims to access.
"Georgia’s housing crisis has only perpetuated this capacity issue, re-clogging the shelters. In January 2022, staff at Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which helps distribute funds to the state’s domestic violence shelters, surveyed shelters in metro Atlanta. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council said they found only 16 open beds in the city.
“'If a woman needs to flee from abuse and then is penalized and unable to rent another residence, that clogs up the emergency shelter options for the next,' Johnson said. “It can be really difficult and daunting when a woman decides to leave an abusive relationship. Creating a space where she doesn’t have to bear that burden alone is something we really take pride in. What do we do when we can’t do that?'”