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How does The Blue Bench Utilize Flexible Funding?

Survivors of crime face numerous stressors and challenges.  Clients at The Blue Bench are eligible for additional support through "Flex Funds."

Flex Funds has supported survivors escaping dangerous situations and found safety, provided more access to transportation, paid outstanding medical bills due to the violence that has occurred, secured housing and other basic necessities, and fulfilled other needs that support the survivor’s safety, healing, and wellbeing.

Our Co-Director of Client Services, Becca Tiell-Krekeler, helped us understand more about Flex Funds:


   1.  What are flex funds, and where do they come from? 

Flex Funds is flexible grant funding that was awarded by the Domestic Violence Program (DVP). Flex Funds are considered “unrestricted” funds which means that they can be used for a multitude of purposes. 

This has increased levels of accessibility to be able to give necessary emergency funding for a variety of needs for clients. Through flex funds, we have been able to pay bills for clients, pay for hotel stays or airplane tickets, purchase a car, and pay for groceries or other necessary household expenses. 

Unrestricted funds like this are rare so it has been tremendous to be able to provide this financial aid to clients!


   2. When did The Blue Bench start receiving and distributing flex funds? 

The Blue Bench began receiving flex funds in June 2022. We began distributing funds around October 2022. Since then, we have provided over $175,000 in financial assistance to clients for a variety of needs.


   3. Because flex funds are used to close the gap on financial barriers for survivors, what type of barriers are we seeing the most in Denver?   

Housing remains the most overwhelming barrier for clients. Housing is limited in Denver and housing costs have skyrocketed. Flex Funding has assisted survivors with paying rent/mortgage, paying utilities, or paying for food and other household items to provide for themselves and their families. 

Even still, housing remains an extremely challenging barrier for survivors in the Denver Metro area.


   4. What is the process for survivors to receive funds?  

To be eligible for flex funds, a survivor must be a current client of The Blue Bench. This means that the survivor is utilizing our therapy, case management, or post-conviction victim advocacy services. The goal is that clients would have access to these funds to help with outstanding impacts so that the survivor can more fully engage in services supporting their healing.


   5. What impact have flex funds had on TBB survivors?   

Flex funds has supported survivors escaping dangerous situations and finding safety, having more access to transportation, paying outstanding medical bills due to the violence that’s occurred, securing housing and other basic necessities, and fulfilling other needs that support the survivor’s safety, healing, and wellbeing.


   6. As with other support programs, how would you combat the stigma behind seeking financial help?   

Sexual assault survivors have faced immeasurable challenges just by being a survivor of a crime. This may be on top of other immense life stressors. Sometimes, we all just need a little help. The financial assistance through flex funds can provide some short-term relief and hopefully allow the survivor to focus on their healing to face whatever may come in the future.


   7. What are ways the community can help survivors reach stability?  

Your monetary donations to The Blue Bench have allowed for us to provide financial assistance to survivors. Additionally, raising awareness for the needs of survivors is so needed! 

After experiencing sexual assault, it is challenging to return to a sense of normalcy. Trauma impacts our work, our families, our friendships, and our sense of ourselves. 

Raising awareness around the impacts of trauma and providing safe and supportive spaces to survivors is the work of The Blue Bench and the work of the community.

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