How Does Merryman House Change Lives?
Every day, Merryman House strives to Save, Build, and Change the Lives of those who have suffered and survived domestic violence in the Purchase Area.
This month, we want to talk about the various services we offer to help brave families change their circumstances and establish safe and healthy households.
As Merryman House assists clients, we also consult Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—the five interdependent levels of basic human needs each of which must be satisfied. We address one area of Maslow’s needs in the “changing lives” phase of our work:
The Merryman House helps clients visualize and reach their full potential. Our housing and financial programs provide them with the foundations they need to become capable providers for their children as well as independent and empowered individuals.
How Merryman House Meets These Needs
We deliver the following services to clients in order to fulfill these needs:
Many trauma survivors find help and healing at the Merryman House, but they can’t stay here forever. Our staff provides various services to help them secure safe homes where they can begin new lives. Advocates search for housing that fits the specific needs of each client, including size, location, and amenities, and they conduct initial evaluations for affordability and Housing Quality Standards. They help with rental applications if necessary.
The Merryman House offers financial assistance, as well, for arrears, security deposits, housing applications fees, moving expenses, and ongoing rental support, and our staff helps trauma survivors apply for public health benefits to stabilize their income. We even help clients locate used/new furniture and develop plans to ensure the safety of their families in the wake of abuse.
Housing Case Management
The Merryman House doesn’t just help clients find new homes. Our capable staff helps monitor their housing situations, as well, to make sure they remain secure. We help locate resources that pertain to housing and offer services such as landlord intervention, housing inspections, and budgeting assistance. We also go over lease agreements with clients to make sure they understand the terms, and we help them file Fair Housing claims as needed. Merryman House provides education on topics such as rental assistance, mortgages, homelessness assistance, and delinquency and default. We believe knowledge is power!
On-Going Case Management
Victims of domestic violence stay in abusive relationships due to a variety of barriers, such as child custody concerns, legal issues, financial instability, physical and emotional health issues, lack of housing, safety concerns, and more. Merryman House offers on-going, comprehensive case management services that remove barriers and help clients set goals and find resources until they can achieve long-term independence. We desire to spark change—to be obstacle removers.
Economic Justice: Credit Repair/Microloan Programs/Savings Plans
Some trauma survivors come to Merryman House with financial struggles or ruined credit. They may need to develop stronger money management skills and stabilize their financial situations before they can start new lives. Merryman gives clients access to a variety of programs where clients may improve credit scores, pay off debt, purchase cars or homes, or return to school.
Merryman House also offers Match Savings Individual Development Accounts, which give clients incentives to save. They save for three to six months, and then we match the amount up to $200. This helps clients afford down payments on apartments and homes and pay for other necessities. Financial concerns are listed by victims as the number one reason they are unable to escape abusive relationships. Financial success is the key to breaking the cycle of violence.