FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Becky Lockwood, Salasin Project Director
Salasin Project Receives $127,000 grant from MA COVID 19 Survivor Trust Fund
GREENFIELD, MA March 29, 2022 – The Salasin Project, a program of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, recently received a $127,000 grant from the MA COVID-19 Survivor Trust Fund to expand its work with Franklin and Hampshire County residents who have experienced domestic violence. The grant will focus on increasing access to housing, economic empowerment, outreach, and implementing support groups in Spanish.
“The lack of affordable housing can be a significant barrier to someone leaving an abusive relationship,” says Becky Lockwood, Salasin Project Director. “With this funding, we’ll be able to hire a full time Housing Advocate who can work with participants to find safe housing and move.” Salasin Project will collaborate with Alianza DV Services, a domestic violence program in Holyoke, to support Hampden County participants interested in moving to Hampshire or Franklin County. “Searching for housing can be overwhelming,” says Carmen Nieves, Executive Director of Alianza, “especially when someone has experienced violence.” The programs will join forces to help survivors relocate.
The Community Action Pioneer Valley Family Center in Greenfield is also partnering with the Salasin Project, where together they will offer Healing from Trauma support groups in Spanish. Healing from Trauma groups will be co-facilitated by bilingual staff from both programs. According to Eric Cora, Program Manager of the Family Center, “We have an active community of Latino families here at the Center and by joining with Salasin we can expand our offerings.”
The grant will pay for training of the support group facilitators, and the Salasin Project hopes that current or former participants will be interested in co-leading the new programs. “Having someone who has experienced violence and who understands how difficult it can be to get back on your feet” is critical to breaking down isolation and creating trust with people who have experienced domestic violence, according to Lockwood. “That empathy and respect is the most important qualification.”
The Salasin Project is one of 34 community based domestic violence programs funded statewide by the MA Department of Public Health. Call 413.774.4307 for more information or visit: www.salasinproject.org. Alianza offers 24-hour crisis intervention, community-based services and a confidential shelter program for individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 1.877.536.1628 or visit: https://www.alianzadv.org. The Community Action Pioneer Valley Family Center uses a strength based and family centered approach to supporting families. For more information call 413.475.1555 or visit: https://www.communityaction.us/family-center.
The Consortium, founded in 1975, is a learning organization committed to creating conditions in which people who have faced marginalization, oppression, or otherwise felt invisible are better able to pursue their dreams and strengthen communities through voice, choice, and inclusion. This is supported by an organizational commitment to address systems of oppression and work toward undoing the harms they have caused. To learn more, visit their website at http://wmtcinfo.org/.