INDIANAPOLIS - On any given day, the demand for temporary housing at domestic violence shelters exceeds capacity.
A report released Thursday by the Domestic Violence Network says that 1,743 requests for housing in nine Central Indiana counties were denied because the shelters were full. That's a nearly three-fold increase from 2013, according to the report.
Chris Handburg, the director of community engagement for the network, attributes much of the increase to greater awareness of services, but said funding hasn’t kept pace with demand.
"The shelters do the best they can, and when someone calls in and there’s not room, they do their best to find temporary housing and do outreach. And I hope that people in violent relationships will continue to reach out because there is help available," Handburg said.
The total number of people housed in shelters last year fell last year, from 11,719 in 2013 to 10,531.
Half of all calls to the 2-1-1 crisis line were from people seeking housing, the report said. Marion County accounted for more than half of the 20,789 crisis calls in the nine-county area. to domestic violence crisis lines last year.
"If anything, the report shows us that as a society, as a community, we need to do better at funding our shelters, at funding those services, so that those who are in violent relationships can exit," Handburg said.
The report also found that 17 domestic violence-related deaths last year in Central Indiana.