Since 2011, St. Gianna Women’s Homes has provided victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse with a range of services, including a 24-unit long-term housing complex. These fully furnished units are designed to give women and children the time and support they need before transitioning into permanent housing. The residential apartments are comprised of six 1-BR apartments, twelve 2-BR apartments and six 3-BR apartments.
Three Marian Sisters and one Resident Care Manager live in residence at St. Gianna’s Home and advocate for these families by working to develop a family action plan and connecting them to resources. In addition to housing, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska provides education, employment, and counseling services for families left homeless because of domestic violence.
An individual’s home is supposed to be a safe place, however sometimes it’s the most dangerous place of all. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse. Women who want to leave an abusive home can face an arduous journey. Many shelters allow clients to stay for as little as 30 days and most allow stays of no more than 90 days. After the shelter, many cannot find an affordable and safe place to go and thus they return to their abuser because of lack of resources. St. Gianna’s is not an emergency shelter; it is a long-term housing program for women fleeing domestic abuse. Families are provided with an apartment and sign a one-year lease with rent funded by CSS or Section 8 vouchers.
Primary needs that are addressed by St. Gianna’s are the safety and security of women and their families. St. Gianna’s is designed with all the safety considerations of a domestic abuse shelter: gates, cameras, a private drive and motion detectors. Additionally, each family has the added security of their own private apartment.
“My sister and I came to St. Gianna’s this October after leaving a domestic abuse/violence situation. St. Gianna’s has been a safe and comforting home for us as we recover and start our lives anew. The Sisters and everyone at Catholic Social Services have been so very kind and have helped us when few others did. I will be forever thankful to God for St. Gianna’s Home for Women, the Sisters, and Catholic Social Services.”
“St. Gianna’s means everything to me and my children. We came to St. Gianna’s after leaving a dangerous situation with my significant other. We had an opportunity to come here and start all over again in a safe environment. Everything about St. Gianna’s has been nothing short of a blessing!”