October is domestic violence awareness month, which presents us with an opportunity to reflect on how domestic violence impacts the lives of people we serve. Many people enter the homeless service system fleeing domestic violence, and many more have experienced domestic violence in their past. As we work to improve our local homeless service system, we need to ensure that it is responsive to the needs of these survivors.
HUD is now requiring communities to establish a coordinated entry and assessment process for homeless services. As communities begin this important work, it is critical that the needs of survivors of domestic violence are not overlooked. Homeless system planners should consult with domestic violence experts as they develop coordinated assessment procedures. Ideally, local domestic violence partners should be involved in the day-to-day work of establishing a coordinated assessment process and ensuring that the safety, confidentiality, and well-being of survivors are protected.
We at the National Alliance to End Homelessness invite you to review resources which are already available on our website about preventing and ending homelessness for domestic violence survivors. Checklist: Incorporating Domestic Violence Providers into a Coordinated Assessment Process and Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence may be of particular value as planners begin to develop a coordinated assessment process.
More resources, including webinarson on Homelessness Prevention for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Successful Partnerships to Serve Survivors of Domestic Violence are available on the Domestic Violence page of the Alliance website.
In recognition of domestic violence awareness month, we plan to feature guest blogs from domestic violence providers and advocates who are helping to transform their community’s response to survivors in order to help them stay safe and avoid lengthy periods of homelessness. We invite you to share your community’s successes in promoting the safety and well-being of domestic violence survivors while also helping to end their homelessness.