Domestic Violence

3rd April
written by Sam Batko

A little over a year ago, the Alliance released a paper on using a rapid re-housing model to end homelessness for survivors of domestic violence.  This paper was based on the successes and lessons learned by community programs using a rapid re-housing model to serve survivors.

One of the programs featured in that paper and also featured in a separate best practice on the Alliance website is Home Free, a Volunteers of America – Oregon program.  Home Free recently participated in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study that examined the link between stable housing and domestic violence.

Recently, the Alliance hosted a webinar that highlighted some of the findings from that study, including that as housing stability increased:

  • Women and children were safer,
  • Women had greater job stability and improved income, and
  • Children missed fewer days in school and displayed fewer behavior problems.

Perhaps most strikingly, when women who participated in the study were asked what made the biggest difference in their life, they said “having housing.”  And, when asked what agencies did that was the most helpful, they stated the provision of housing services.

If that weren’t enough, the study also estimated the cost savings of housing survivors on the basis of decreases in their need of emergency services, including police, emergency medical care, and safety net programs. The total savings for emergency systems based on estimated costs was $535,000.

To learn more, please join the Alliance’s next webinar on April 12 at 3 pm ET , featuring  Melissa Erlbaum from Clackamas Women’s Services and Megan Owens of Hamilton Family Center, who will focus on the partnerships between homelessness assistance providers and domestic violence service providers to help survivors access permanent housing.

Image courtesy of  NoVa Hokie.

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.