EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Expert joins Inside Sources on women accessing homeless resources

Dec 7, 2022, 8:30 PM
A woman wishing not to be identified shows her sadness after the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake ran ou...
A woman wishing not to be identified shows her sadness after the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake ran out of boxed meals during its Two-Days-Before-Thanksgiving Banquet in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a recent Inside Sources interview, Emily Darowski, associate director for the Utah Women and Leadership Project, discussed a recent study the project conducted. The study researched a broad spectrum of individuals to see how many women were accessing homeless resources and why.

Darowski told guest hosts Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan that certain races among women are disproportionately affected by homelessness. 

“Specifically, Hispanic women, Black and African American women, American Indian and Alaska Native women, and Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian women,” said Darowski. 

The leadership project also examined other factors that may influence homelessness in Utah amongst women. The study found primary factors that women report are mental health conditions, chronic health conditions, physical disability, substance use, and also fleeing domestic violence.

Of the factors reported by homeless women, mental health conditions have the highest frequency and chronic health conditions are second. 

That said, past data shows from 2017 to 2021 the number of women accessing homeless services who have experienced domestic violence have doubled. About 26% of all females accessing homeless services have experienced domestic violence, Darowski told Inside Sources. 

The Utah Women and Leadership webpage also said of all women accessing homeless services, a quarter, 2,153 young women, are under the age of 18. 

“I do want to point out that some of those women may be, you know, accompanying a parent figure as they’re accessing those services,” Darowski said.

Number of individuals accessing homeless resources

She also points out that males are accessing services more frequently than women. 

“We do know that more males are accessing those services,” said Darowski. 

On any given day, around 3,100, Utahns experience homelessness, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. To help address the large number of people experiencing homelessness, the state of Utah received additional funding from the American Rescue Plan. 

“We got additional federal funds through that (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness) to help address homelessness. And part of those funds went to shelter and public safety plans, county match programs, and so forth.

Furthermore, the state developed 13 local homeless councils to help address homelessness within communities. 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship there is help available here in Utah and nationwide.

  • YWCA’s Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
  • Utah statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-897-LINK (5465) and udvc.org
  • 24-hour Salt Lake victim advocate hotline: 801-580-7969
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

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Expert joins Inside Sources on women accessing homeless resources