Bay Area home for domestic violence victims has 1 month to raise rent money - or close its doors

The founder has almost lost her own home trying to keep the place open. Here's how you can help.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Bay Area nonprofit Courageous Women Association has been helping women with shelter to escape their abusers.

Now, the nonprofit is in need of help. They can't afford to pay rent next month, and are on the verge of losing the home that's become a safe haven for many women.

One of those women is "Mary." She escaped her abuser eight months ago.

"I'm really happy that I got out because I know a lot of people don't make it out. I never forgot that. I try to think of them," said Mary.

TAKE ACTION: Get help with violence, assault and abuse at home

She said the attacks by her boyfriend of two years, escalated from verbal to physical abuse.

Mary opened up about the morning she almost lost her life.

"He choked me and he threatened me. That morning I was really afraid that I wouldn't make it out," said Mary.

After weeks of planning, Mary escaped.

"I feel lucky," said Mary.

VIDEO: How this beautiful wreath can help save victims of domestic violence
EMBED More News Videos

A California wreath designer found a unique way to support victims of domestic violence.



At an undisclosed location, the founder of Courageous Women Association showed us the transitional home that's become a safe haven for women like Mary.

The women pay a fee for the program, which gives them housing, professional help, and a place to laugh, heal and cook.

"Sometimes we have cook-offs which is incredible," said Toshanna Ross, Founder of Courageous Women Association.

RELATED: New bill pressures SFPD, DA to release more data on domestic violence cases

Between January 2021 until now, Toshanna says they've gotten close to 800 calls of women in need. They can house 14 women at a time.

"We provide up to two years of housing for women and it's a paid program. Women who come in have to have a form of income," said Ross.

During the pandemic many of the women lost their jobs and can't pay for the programs fee anymore. Now, the nonprofit is on the verge of losing their home.

At one point Toshanna said she sacrificed having a roof over her head to make sure these women had a safe place.

"We are on our last leg. We have a month left in this house, which is unfortunate. What people don't realize or maybe don't know, is that in the past I almost lost my own home. I was almost evicted from my own home because as the founder I'm one to sacrifice out of my own pocket," said Toshanna Ross.

RELATED: Students Move Domestic Violence Victims Free of Charge

Toshanna opened a GoFundMe, hoping the community helps raise close to $23,000. Those funds would cover rent and bills until June.

"I don't even want to think about closing the doors. Not on them. I want to make sure that they're successes," said Toshanna.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.