Gov. Abbott announces $3 million fund for family and domestic violence services


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has received over $3 million in federal funding to be used for shelter services for survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Abbott announced Thursday.

The funding will provide support to the 78 HHSC-funded local family violence centers which help survivors with immediate shelter, supportive services, and access to community based programs.

This money was made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It will be issued through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

“As we respond to COVID-19, the Lone Star State remains committed to supporting survivors of domestic and family violence and keeping Texans safe,” said Gov. Abbott. “I thank our federal partners at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for administering this funding to the state of Texas, and I am grateful to the organizations within HHSC’s Family Violence Program that continue to provide Texans with these crucial services.”

In addition to supporting the 78 local family violence centers, the funding will also go towards a wide range of supportive services which are vital in helping survivors of domestic violence become self reliant. The services include, a temporary 24-hour shelter, counseling, mobile advocacy, telehealth, peer support, rental assistance, and relocation expenses.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenging obstacles and uncertainty for many survivors of family violence across the state,” said Dee Budgewater, HHS deputy executive commissioner for Health, Developmental and Independence Services. “This grant is a significant investment that will connect vulnerable Texans to critical services, shelter, and move them toward a life free of violence.”

The money will also go to family violence centers to help cover the costs of providing remote services for those in need.

More information on the HHSC Family Violence Program can be found on the commission’s webpage. Those interested can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about HHSC programs and services.

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