Buffalo, NY

$64 Million Allocated to Assist Families and Survivors of Domestic Violence

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of a local neighborhood in Buffalo, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

With the COVID-19 pandemic came a new wave of unexpected domestic violence that blindsided many and left countless in bad situations. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently revealed the allocation of over $64 million in federal funding for the aid of domestic violence and abuse survivors, children, and households in New York state.

“I think the funding is such a good thing,” said local Buffalo resident Samantha Hatchford of the funding. “There are so many women and families out there in need, the pandemic really made a lot of people show their true colors unfortunately.”

Made possible by the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund, the New York state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, will distribute one-time payments to those eligible to help costs and housing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has laid bare the inequities that exist across our society, leaving vulnerable New Yorkers who were already struggling even further behind,” Hochul remarked of the funding. “With the help of our federal partners, my administration is taking decisive action to alleviate the burden of this public health crisis on struggling families with young children, those supporting an older family member in their household, and survivors of domestic violence. This critical funding will help tens of thousands of families pay for food and diapers, while providing a lifeline to domestic violence survivors in need of relocation and housing support.”

The OTDA will issue these one-time payments of $140 per child to all families currently enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Public Assistance that have a child under the age of 3. The agency will also issue April payments of $730 to those enrolled who have a child 17 and under and an adult aged 55 or older in the same household.

“Unquestionably, New Yorkers are still reeling from the pandemic, including many who were struggling to get by even before the public health emergency began nearly two years ago,” stated OTDA Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz of the funding. “This funding will provide important short-term relief for families with young children or an older member of their household as we collectively continue to recover from the economic turmoil wrought by the pandemic.”

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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