Albany, N.Y. – (5/29/12) – The New York State Senate passed legislation that will extend the maximum amount of days victims of domestic violence may stay in residential facilities from 135 days to 180 days. The bill S6308A/2651A, sponsored by Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) will provide individuals and their families who are staying at domestic violence shelters with the opportunity to apply for an additional 45 day extension.
“It is virtually impossible for an individual, nevertheless a family, to start a new life in 135 days,” said Senator Greg Ball. “No one should be forced to make a decision between being homeless or returning to an unsafe environment. This legislation will provide victims of domestic violence with more time to find housing, employment and receive the services they need to move on to a happy and healthy life.”
Currently, residential programs for victims of domestic violence and their children can provide services and a place to stay for 90 days. After the 90 days, victims can apply for an additional 45 days, a total of 135 days. Due to the current economy, finding affordable housing and employment can take longer than the allotted 135 days. This legislation will now allow the individual or family to apply for a second 45 day extension.
“The passing of this very important legislation by the Senate today brings New York State one step closer to providing a more adequate length of stay in emergency shelter for victims fleeing violence,” said Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center, Ann Ellsworth. “Thank you to all those who believed in the merits of this legislation especially Senator Ball who has worked diligently to keep it in the forefront of discussions in the Senate and worked so hard to get it passed.”
“Because of this legislation, My Sisters Place will be able to provide an additional 45 days of support and services to individuals and families who have been affected by domestic violence, said Executive Director of My Sisters Place, Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq. “In Westchester County, finding safe affordable and housing for our clients in such a short amount of time is extremely difficult. We thank Senator Ball for the hard work he has done on the issue of domestic violence.”
Assemblywoman Jacobs is sponsoring S6308A/2651A, in the Assembly, where it has already passed. The bill will be delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Krista Gobins: (845) 200-9716.