HarborCOV is the only domestic violence program targeting the harbor communities of Chelsea, East Boston, Winthrop and Revere and reaches nearly 3,600 victims and survivors of domestic violence each year across the state and country, targeting survivors who are: English or Spanish speaking; low-income; living in our communities; and who face additional barriers – such as disability, immigration status and homelessness – to accessing resources and achieving good life prospects.
HarborCOV is best known for its commitment to creating access to resources for survivors, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Since its inception 13 years ago, HarborCOV has established itself as:
- a leader in economic development strategies for low-income and immigrant survivors within the Massachusetts domestic violence arena;
- a Department of Housing & Development-recognized Community Housing Development Organization, creating 29 units of affordable housing with supportive services designed specifically for survivors of domestic violence; and
- the only domestic violence organization in Massachusetts recognized by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals as an organization with accredited staff to help low-income immigrant survivors of abuse seek protection through VAWA petitions and U and T visas.
Case Management and Specialized Services
HarborCOV provides a broad array of services at no cost, including:
- a 24-hour emergency and referral hotline;
- comprehensive case management;
- emergency, transitional and permanent housing; and
- specialized legal advocacy, economic development, youth and public education activities.
Comprehensive Case Management
A strong proponent of accessible, safe resources for all, HarborCOV works to create connections for those who face linguistic, cultural, gender, economic and legal barriers to the supports they need to rebuild their lives through a continuum of options. One-on-one and group supports provide opportunities for survivors to break their isolation, exchange support and begin building community networks in the context of their own languages and cultures. Case managers work with survivors to respond to immediate crises as well as develop individualized safety and goal plans for longer-term outcomes, such as violence-free living, and economic, educational and employment accomplishments.
Community Housing Initiative
HarborCOV’s Community Housing Initiative offers a continuum of housing options – from emergency to transitional and permanent housing – with supportive services designed for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse. From homelessness prevention, that helps many avoid homelessness and shelter, through emergency, transitional and permanent affordable housing, this first-of-its-kind continuum maximizes choice while minimizing the upheaval and long-term transience that survivors too often experience when they opt to leave abusive homes
- 24-Hour Hotline, Emergency Services and Housing
HarborCOV helps callers create safety plans, access emergency housing and receive information and referrals for longer-term housing, economic, legal, health and other related resources. A safe haven for those escaping domestic abuse, HarborCOV’s 14-day emergency housing component provides a respite for individuals and families, and intensive support to ameliorate crises, access resources and safely move forward.
- Transitional and Permanent Housing with Supportive Services
HarborCOV operates 29 units of affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom transitional and permanent apartments in three buildings with on-site and community-based supports, including computer labs, workshops, classes and activities for residents.
HarborCOV case managers and legal advocacy team helps those affected by domestic violence navigate complex judicial processes, such as filing restraining orders, prosecuting batterers, dealing with immigration issues, child support and other criminal and civil litigation. HarborCOV partners with attorneys, such as the Mintz, Levin, et al, and Fragomen firms, and Suffolk University Law School, in an effort to ensure that immigrants affected by domestic abuse can secure every support available and live free from abuse. Acknowledging our model of best practice in legal advocacy, the Board of Immigration Appeals accredited HarborCOV staff, allowing them to prepare VAWA and “U” and “T” visa petitions that in the past would have always been referred to attorneys.
HarborCOV’s recognizes the interconnection between domestic abuse, homelessness and poverty, helping low-income survivors access resources, support and opportunities to move toward long-term economic stability. From emergency cash to avert job loss or homelessness, to financial literacy, and supportive, trauma-informed access to higher education, training and employment, HarborCOV emphasizes the economic-related resources that survivors need access to in order to attain and maintain stability in their lives after abuse.
HarborCOV understands that children and teens who witness and experience abuse benefit from connection with adults and children in a safe and welcoming community. HarborCOV works with parents to ensure that every child at HarborCOV has access to personal advocacy, clinical, educational and other support as appropriate. Individual support and in-school groups at local high schools are also offered, as are youth internship and summer employment opportunities that combine violence-prevention education with job skills and leadership development.
HarborCOV provides community education, cross-training and awareness activities in our targeted geographic communities of Chelsea, Revere, East Boston and Winthrop. HarborCOV works to create community solutions to violence in partnership with residents, public officials, local business, faith communities and others to provide domestic violence-related education and raise awareness about the causes and consequences of abuse in our communities