CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) All this week the Charleston YWCA is working to raise funds to help victims of domestic violence and their families by hosting a Girls Night In. It’s a COVID-19 twist on their annual Girls Night Out celebration.

The group operates several program to help keep people safe. This year the Charleston YWCA launched the Rapid Re-Housing Program. The project is aimed at helping those fleeing a domestic violence situation who have no other resources for housing.

“I think it is important for the community because we haven’t had anything like this,” Jason Sovine-Rhoton, YWCA Rapid Re-Housing Specialist. “A lot of our clients have never paid a bill so we help them with budgeting, job source assistance, getting into mainline programs including SNAP and SSI, things like that.”

Funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development helped address that need, allowing the YWCA to help with finding housing, paying first and last months rent and offering help with utility deposits. The group says 63% of homeless women are homeless because of domestic violence.

“We will be able to shorten the amount of time that people spend homeless whether it is homeless in the street or homeless in the shelter,” said Julie Haden with the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program.

Since February of this year they’ve helped 20 households through the program. The goal next year is to expand that to 30.

The group is asking for donations of gently used furniture and household items such as dishes to help with this program.