OFO gets $475,000 federal grant


U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, on Wednesday announced $475,000 in federal funding from the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice for the Transitional Housing Assistance Program at Opportunities for Otsego Inc.

According to a media release, the award will provide funding for 42 residences for survivors and their families through private landlord housing units. The grant also allows Opportunities for Otsego, in partnership with the Otsego County Department of Social Services, to expand its resources to assist victims of domestic violence through rental and utility subsidies, career and financial counseling, and other supportive services. The organization will also hire an additional staff member to implement the program.

“Opportunities for Otsego Inc. provides critical services for the most vulnerable in our communities — ranging from sheltering those experiencing homelessness, to educational programs through Head Start, to offering safe environments for people who are facing domestic violence at home," Delgado said in the release. "Last year, during my in-district work week focused on affordable housing, I saw first-hand how these initiatives fill critical needs in our rural communities. The funds announced today will enable both Opportunities for Otsego and the Otsego County Department of Social Services to expand their important work to assist those who have escaped from abusive relationships.” He went on to say, “This grant will allow Opportunities for Otsego to add additional staff and assist survivors with everything from utilities, to financial counseling, to housing advocacy. I am grateful to the essential employees undertaking these vital efforts and I will continue to advocate to get these funds to those in need across Otsego County.”

“The importance of securing permanent housing is critical for domestic violence survivors’ quest to live in a home that is free from violence," Dan Maskin, chief executive officer of Opportunities for Otsego, said in the release. "This grant will enable Opportunities for Otsego Inc. to empower survivors in that quest.”  

The Transitional Housing Program is designed to provide aid to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking who are homeless, or in need of transitional housing or other housing assistance, as a result of their victimization, the release said. The "program supports holistic, victim-centered approaches to providing transitional housing and support services that move individuals into permanent housing and help them secure employment and integrate into a community," the release said.

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