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San Francisco secures housing for domestic violence victims during pandemic

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — While sheltering in your home is simply an inconvenience for some, for victims of domestic violence it can be downright dangerous.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s particularly most vulnerable victims of violence in the home who are at increased risk,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said. “People are stuck with their abuser and cant go out in the community and seek help as they normally would.”

San Francisco officials say during the first week of the shelter in place, they saw a sharp increase in requests for domestic violence services only to see that drop off the next week.

“To us that is a troubling sign that requests have dropped off because it shows us those at home with abusers are having a hard time reaching out for help,” Boudin said.

“Someone who might have been participating in support groups or seeing a peer counselor or any local resources,” Kathy Black said. “Now those things may not be available in the same way, so they are now isolated.”

Now the DA, along with the mayor’s office, has reached an agreement with real estate investment manager Veritas to provide 20 furnished apartments for survivors of domestic violence.

“I think that will be very useful as this pandemic stretches on the need for additional safe housing and safe shelter is just going to grow,” Black said.

City officials are already working to make additional units available.

The 20 apartment should be available by weeks end. Domestic abuse survivors and their families can stay there rent free for up to 90 days. 

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