Independence House Receives Over $1 Million To Support Emergency Shelter and Housing

Filed Under: Non Profit News

Independence House is making important strides in providing emergency shelter for victims of domestic and sexual violence on Cape Cod thanks to the recent generosity of donors and some key federal funding.

Through the generosity of Lady Donna Kornberg of Falmouth, whose donation of a residential property valued at almost $800,000, along with a matching contribution of $100,000 by Lauren Kanzer of Mashpee, Independence House has purchased a nine-bedroom emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter residence in a confidential location on Cape Cod. The emergency residence provides immediate safety for survivors and their children who are in danger and fleeing from an intimate partner or domestic relationship. The initial announcement of the property acquisition was made on Sept. 30 during the 22nd annual Independence House Domestic Violence Awareness Month Community Breakfast.

Independence House is currently in its fourth year of a 10-year contract with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to operate an emergency shelter residence on Cape Cod and has been providing this program and services through a private property leasing agreement that ended late this summer when the nonprofit was successful in the purchase of their own property. The emergency residence is specific to offering a safe temporary setting which incorporates Independence House services for domestic and sexual violence survivors. With specialized counseling, individuals and their children are able to address their trauma and work towards thriving and overcoming obstacles that help them transition from their life-threatening surroundings into a permanent safe independent and empowered living environment without violence.

Kornberg is a retired attorney who in her years of practice addressed family matters including the representation of domestic and sexual violence survivors. Her wish was to utilize her donation to support the safety of families fleeing domestic violence and incorporate the opportunity for those who have pets to bring them along, an obstacle often faced when victims of abuse are reluctant to leave abusive relationships if they have to leave their pets behind. This new property will allow accommodations for pets to accompany their owners.

Kanzer is a longtime supporter of Independence House of almost 20 years. She previously held a development position with Independence House, was a past board president, and currently is an emeritus board member. Kanzer’s generosity is named in honor of her late brother, Joseph Magida.

Preliminary plans are being discussed to establish a fundraising platform in the coming months that will help pay off the remaining portion of the emergency shelter residence that exceeded the two generous donations.

In addition to the new emergency shelter acquisition, Independence House has received a grant funding award of $150,648 annually that begins this October from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The award is to implement assistance for domestic and sexual violence survivors who are facing homeless due to domestic violence. The funding supports transitional housing and offers tenant based rental assistance for permanent housing options for survivors in Barnstable County. The program is designed to provide for up to eight individuals/four families with programming and outreach efforts to underserved survivors, including young adults, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) survivors. The program entails a referral and application process. Selena Reid Director of Residential Services may be contacted for referrals by emailing her at

Independence House. Inc. is Cape Cod’s leading resource, counseling and advocacy center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. Offering critical response programs and services, Independence House assists children, teens and adults of all gender identities, races, sexual orientations, abilities and cultures who have been impacted by domestic or sexual violence. Independence House has four Cape offices: Hyannis, Falmouth, Orleans and Provincetown; a full court advocate staff in Falmouth, Barnstable and Orleans District and Barnstable Probate Court Houses; meets and assists sexual assault survivors at Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospitals 24-hours a day; and maintains both a 24-hour hotline and confidential emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter residence on Cape Cod.

To learn more, visit and the dedicated teen website at