Archive for March 28th, 2011

28th March
written by Catherine An

Today’s post comes to us with help from Samantha Batko, program and policy analyst at the Alliance.

Though the connection may seem tenuous at first, it takes little effort to realize that survivors of domestic violence are at increased risk of experiencing homelessness. Abusive partners often isolate their victims from family, friends, and income so that when a survivor attempts to flee, they have few if any resources available to them to begin their life anew.

Moreover, there are specific challenges for survivors when it comes to acquiring or maintaining housing: the abusive behavior of their partner could have led to eviction. Obviously there are clear safety concerns and potential fear of violence. Often, the loss of an abuser’s income can leave survivors with no affordable housing options. It’s not unusual, therefore, for survivors of domestic violence – and their children – to end up in shelter.

Which is why we are focusing on how domestic violence service providers can employ homeless assistance techniques to provide safe, stable, and permanent housing as quickly as possible.

We’re talking about homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing.

In a new brief, the Alliance details the success domestic violence service providers are having helping survivors find housing by utilizing the same practices as homeless assistance providers. They step in with financial assistance when families are able to stay in the same residence, they provide case management and social services when appropriate, or – if new housing is necessary – they help survivors bypass the shelter system and acquire new housing as quickly as possible.

For more information and to read the full brief, please visit our website.

The paper was informed by a number of direct service providers and the work of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

28th March
written by Lisa Stand

Today’s post comes from Alliance policy analyst, Lisa Stand.

A new report from the National Association of Community Health Centers discusses the crucial role community-based health providers play in efforts to end homelessness and relieve its effects on health and quality of life.

Community agencies that work with people experiencing homelessness are probably most familiar with the specialized Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) clinics, which last year served more than 800,000 people experiencing homelessness nationwide, through 208 separate projects. In addition, permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are often connected in one way or another to a community health clinic, assuring a source of primary care for PSH residents and adding to housing stability.

While community health is financed in a variety of ways, federal funding is paramount, through Medicaid and grants to Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), to name a few federal sources. According to the NACHC report, “health centers operate in more than 8,000 locations and serve 23 million patients.” Access to community health care services helps make the business case for PSH, and health centers anchor local safety nets to help prevent homelessness.

The report, “Community Health Centers: The Local Prescription for Better Quality and Lower Costs,” was released last week, as a couple thousand advocates for community health centers gathered in Washington to help Congress understand their vital role in communities across the country.

Are you interested in learning more about how health care reform can help end homelessness? Email us and check out our resources online.