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App from Austin nonprofit helps domestic violence victims find safe place

Survive2Thrive CEO Courtney Santana said about 39% of domestic violence victims will experience homelessness.

AUSTIN, Texas — An app called Sanctuary, created by the Survive2Thrive Foundation, is helping domestic violence victims.

"Sanctuary basically provides service providers and first responders visibility into available hotel rooms, spaces," Survive2Thrive CEO Courtney Santana said. "So we've put it all into one space, created an intake form and then these service providers and first responders can use that to place victims of domestic assault into safe and secure and confidential hotel rooms."

The nonprofit is helping give homeless domestic violence victims a safe place to stay. When they log in, there's a map that shows available and unavailable facilities that the organization has contacts with.

Santana said it is critical to get victims into extended stays and hotels as Central Texas continues to grow and shelters are filling up. The organization is trying to help more than 700 people a year.

"They are extended stay hotels. They have kitchens. Victims can go there and live a normal life until we can get them placed into a permanent living situation," Santana said.

Funding for the app and housing comes from the City of Austin, private donations and the Moody Foundation.

"We'd like to create a safety net. That's what we call this. There's a hotel safety net for victims that are worried about where they're going to live. And when they leave, they have to leave," Santana said.

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