Safe Harbor's Transitional Housing Program

September 7, 2010

By Bobbi Mason, MA-Transitional Housing Program Director, Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor was granted funds from the Office of Violence Against Women in early Fall 2009 to begin a Transitional Housing Program for victims of domestic violence. In January 2010, Safe Harbor began to serve the clients in our Shelter Programs by offering them the opportunity to participate in the newly formed Transitional Housing Program that serves 15 families within the 4-county radius that we serve (Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville).  In this program, participants can choose from living in a housing unit provided by the Upstate Homeless Coalition, or they can choose to live in an apartment of their choice. In both phases of the program, the participants will receive rental assistance payments from Safe Harbor on a decreasing scale. For example: Safe Harbor will pay 100% of their total amount of rent and utilities if they live in an apartment, for 6 consecutive months; then Safe Harbor will pay 75% of the total amount, and the participant will be responsible for 25% of the total amount of her rent and utilities for the next consecutive six months.  The transitional housing program will continue assisting the participant with her rent and utilities in this manner, gradually decreasing the amount of assistance each six months until the client is responsible for paying the total amount of her rent and utilities in full after a 2 year period. 

Along with the rental assistance piece of the program and thanks to the OVW funding, Safe Harbor is also able to assist the participants in the program with individual Housing Counseling provided by the Upstate Homeless Coalition. With this one-on-one counseling, the participants have the ability to gain the necessary knowledge on how to create a budget, deal with issues with their Property Management companies, become home owners, and more.  Safe Harbor also offers the participants an opportunity to receive several other services that include financial assistance with paying for Job Skills Training, counseling, case management, child care, support groups, supportive services and more. 

Once the participants have successfully completed their goals and have transitioned into more permanent housing of their choice, they are offered six months of follow-up services so that they can sustain their success. We have already had three clients to successfully complete the program by acquiring their Section 8 vouchers and moving into permanent housing of their choice!  All three of these participants have been able to sustain their independence since their exit from our program.

Since January, 2010, the Transitional Housing Program has proven to be an instrument of success for the participants; however, there have been some noticeable challenges/barriers that the participants have faced. Some of those challenges are: lack of furniture to fill all of the units, affordable child care, transportation, finding agencies that will provide financial assistance with past utility bills and deposits, just to name a few. Although Safe Harbor has attempted to find some ways to assist the participants with overcoming these barriers, the need is still there, and it continues to be an ongoing challenge. 

If you’d like to volunteer or donate any items or funds to Safe Harbor, please feel free to contact us via our website at, or you can call us at 864.467.1177 or 1.800.291.2139. Thank you.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



When you give to Safe Harbor, 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic abuse in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic abuse education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.





Safe Harbor Resale Shop operates solely on donations from our generous community. Donations are tax deductible and make a difference in the lives of our clients.  



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