Transitional Housing

Transitional or bridge housing can incorporate new elements and promising practices that spring from rich experience in the field.

= web resource    = downloadable file

Transitional Housing Toolkit

National Network to End Domestic Violence

This toolkit furnishes transitional housing providers with easy access to information and resources to enhance services to survivors. The information provided here addresses frequently asked questions, common challenges, best practices, templates for adaptation, and resources for additional information and assistance. Topics include models and approaches, financial empowerment, voluntary services, and confidentiality.

Transitional Housing Services for Victims of Domestic Violence: A Report from the Housing Committee of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence

2005
Amy Correia
Anna Melbin

Though the landscape in terms of housing resources for DV/SA survivors has changed substantially over the past decade, this report compiled in 2005 remains a helpful and comprehensive description of the transitional housing model, as exemplified by the commonalities and uniqueness across 12 programs studied in their many aspects.

From Organizational Culture to Survivor Outcomes: A Process And Outcome Evaluation Of The District Alliance For Safe Housing

2016
Nkiru Nnawulezi

The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) is a large, community-based organization located in Washington, D.C. It aims to provide services that promote self-determination, autonomy and safety for all survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, sex trafficking, same-sex IPV, and homelessness. DASH also engages in systems advocacy to increase survivors’ safe housing options throughout the housing continuum. DASH uses low-barrier, voluntary, trauma-informed approaches to service delivery in order to enact their core beliefs:integrity, sovereignty, empowerment, accountability, partnerships, compassion, and re-centering. In 2013, evaluators from Michigan State University’s Research Consortium on Gender Based Violence collaborated with DASH to implement a process and outcome evaluation of DASH's program model. This document summarizes their findings.

A Call for Safe Housing: A Report on the Need for Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors in the District of Columbia

2007
District Alliance for Safe Housing

From June to August 2007, DASH set out to understand the dynamics that impact domestic violence survivors and their search for safe housing. DASH conducted focus groups with both survivors and providers to hear firsthand some of the obstacles to securing safe affordable housing. This report chronicles their findings and provides recommendations for change.

Responding to the Call for Safe Housing

2012
District Alliance for Safe Housing

DASH was established in response to the shortage of basic housing services for survivors in the District of Columbia. This report chronicles the progress achieved over a fine-year period in DASH's primary goals: 1. Increase the supply of safe emergency, transitional, and supportive permanent housing for all domestic violence survivors and their children; 2. Build the capacity of all existing housing programs for women in the District, to be safe housing programs for survivors; and 3. Provide domestic violence training to staff at nonresidential programs serving diverse and specific populations.

Strong Foundation for Healing: Shelter & Sexual Violence

2011
Kris Bein
Christi Hurt

Sexual assault is a most intimate crime, and when it happens in our most intimate sanctuaries— our homes—the trauma is devastating and difficult to escape. Given that most sexual assaults take place in or near victims’ homes or the homes of victims’ friends, relatives, or neighbors, for many survivors of sexual violence, home often is not safe. The author asserts that until recently, the anti-rape field has not considered shelter and housing to be sexual violence issues. But now, equipped with research and inspired by some promising practices, the field is identifying housing as a core issue in sexual assault advocacy work. This paper considers issues and advocacy related to emergency shelter and longer-term housing for sexual violence survivors.

The Role of Long-Term, Congregate Transitional Housing in Ending Homelessness

2015

Many communities still operate congregate transitional housing programs – defined as facility-based programs that offer housing and services for up to two years to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This brief summarizes the authors' position on the appropriate use of this approach within the broader context of strategies to end homelessness - which may include domestic violence survivors who may require and prefer the security and onsite services available in congregate housing.

Domestic Violence Victims in Rural Arizona: Needs in the "Balance of the State"

2015
Bill Hart
Eric C. Hedberg
Anthony Hack

This study was sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES). It had two main goals: (1) To survey rural DV victims, shelter operators, advocates and other stakeholders concerning the needs of rural Arizona victims; (2) Based on this information, to suggest questions for discussion about how best to improve service delivery in Arizona’s rural areas and small towns. Most victims and advocates surveyed in this project indicated that emergency shelters retain an important role in rural and small-town Arizona – in part because relatively few other services are available at reasonable distances. However, survivors indicated that their needs tended towards practical necessities, such as housing, transportation, and help finding employment, rather than the physical protection provided by shelter. Most advocates acknowledged the value of the “rapid rehousing” approach to serving DV victims, but expressed doubts that many of their clients could succeed in such a program, especially given a general lack of affordable housing and transportation.

Across the Continuum: Recommendations on Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Florida

2014
Carol Wick, et al.

This report was created to document and make recommendations to address the housing needs of survivors of domestic abuse throughout Florida. The authors assert that survivors of domestic abuse are affected by a unique type of homelessness and that the continuum of housing options that should be provided differs from someone who is homeless for economic or other reasons. Ideally, all housing options should address the safety, economic and physical recovery needs of the individual survivor and their children and pets.

Real Tools: Responding to Multi-Abuse Trauma - Chapter 10: How Should Advocates Respond?

2011
Debi Edmund
Patricia Bland
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

This toolkit was designed in hopes that it will be widely used for training advocates and other service providers, creating support groups for individuals coping with multi-abuse trauma issues, and educating and advocating in the community. The excerpted chapter describes how advocates and programs can support survivors seeking safety, sobriety, wellness, autonomy and justice by reducing service barriers and ending isolation for people impacted by multiple abuse issues. Policies and procedures to ensure culturally competent, appropriate, non-punitive and non-judgmental accessible services are key.

Creating Trauma-Informed Services: Tipsheet Series: Tips for Creating a Welcoming Environment

2011
National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

The environment we create communicates our beliefs about the people we serve. This environment and the way we offer services are critical aspects of our work to increase access to our programs for women who are experiencing psychiatric disabilities or the effects of trauma. This tipsheet provides guidance as to how to better ensure a welcoming environment for all survivors.

Trauma Informed Organizational Toolkit for Homeless Services

2009
Kathleen Guarino, et al.
National Center on Family Homelessness

Given the high rates of traumatic exposure among families who are homeless, it has become clear that understanding trauma and its impact is essential to providing quality care in shelters and housing programs. This realization has lead to the suggestion that programs serving trauma survivors adapt their services to account for their clients’ traumatic experiences, that is, they become “trauma-informed”. In order to respond empathically to the needs of trauma survivors, ensure their physical and emotional safety, develop realistic treatment goals, and at the very least avoid re-traumatization, all practices and programming must be provided through the lens of trauma. This Toolkit offers homeless service providers with concrete guidelines for how to modify their practices and policies to ensure that they are responding appropriately to the needs of families who have experienced traumatic stress.

LGBT Homelessness

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This section of the HUD Exchange establishes a central clearinghouse of resources for the LGBT community, including information on and links to HUD's Equal Access Rule and program guidance, a toolkit on supporting transgender-inclusive projects, information on HUD's initiative for the community-wide prevention of LGBT youth homelessness, and links to LGBTQ resources and research reports.

Equal Access Self-Assessment for Shelters and Projects

2016
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This self-assessment is a spreadsheet that projects can use to figure out their top priorities for improving policies and procedures as regards implementation of the Equal Access Rule on transgender status and gender expression. Projects can assess their own inclusivity through answering a series of questions. The tool generates the top three action steps based on those responses. Users can re-assess their performance periodically to continue operational improvement.

Equal Access for Transgender People: Supporting Inclusive Housing and Shelters

David Canavan
Fran Ledger
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Individuals and families seeking services from HUD funded homeless projects have nowhere else to go. Too many LGBT youth and adults meet this standard and have nowhere to turn other than a HUD funded project. Acknowledging their need for assistance and seeking help is often its own struggle for those who have sacrificed much simply to recognize themselves. Transgender individuals in particular are impacted by violence and discrimination in ways that both contribute to their homelessness and keep them from accessing necessary shelter and services. HUD funds welcoming and inclusive housing programs open to all eligible individuals; the Equal Access Rule and follow-up guidance ensure that local projects know how to implement and enforce this requirement. These training materials provide CoCs and projects with the framework to create welcoming and inclusive projects for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Open Minds Open Doors: Transforming Domestic Violence Programs to Include LGBTQ Survivors

2011
The Network/La Red

Despite the prevalence of LGBTQ partner abuse, there are only a handful of programs in the country specifically serving LGBTQ survivors. The need for more inclusive services for LGBTQ survivors is great in all areas, but shelter and housing are especially wanting. Many LGBTQ victims become homeless due to the abuse, and there are significant gaps in the critical continuum of services, including adequate shelter and transitional living programs for LGBTQ survivors. This guide is intended to assist programs to increase their capacity to serve LGBTQ survivors.

Strong Foundation for Healing: Shelter & Sexual Violence

2011
Kris Bein
Christi Hurt

Sexual assault is a most intimate crime, and when it happens in our most intimate sanctuaries— our homes—the trauma is devastating and difficult to escape. Given that most sexual assaults take place in or near victims’ homes or the homes of victims’ friends, relatives, or neighbors, for many survivors of sexual violence, home often is not safe. The author asserts that until recently, the anti-rape field has not considered shelter and housing to be sexual violence issues. But now, equipped with research and inspired by some promising practices, the field is identifying housing as a core issue in sexual assault advocacy work. This paper considers issues and advocacy related to emergency shelter and longer-term housing for sexual violence survivors.

Self Assessment Tool for Ensuring Access for People with Disabilities

2004
Disability Rights Wisconsin

This tool is to be used by sexual assault and domestic violence programs to review their programs and services to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access and an equal opportunity to participate. Accessibility includes removing not only physical barriers to participation, but also cultural and attitudinal barriers. Many of the suggestions about policies and communication are best practices, and some are required by law. This tool is designed to be used with an accompanying Accessibility Guide. Links to both the Guide and the Tool can be found below.

Transforming Homeless Services in Pierce County, Washington

Tess Colby
Joe O'Neil

Reallocating transitional housing to rapid re-housing is not easy, but the impact of doing so can be powerful. This webinar examines how Pierce County, Washington conducted an extensive assessment of the county's homeless service system and determined that with no new funds, rapid re-housing was the answer to serving more households and better outcomes. Presenters discuss the transformation of the homeless system using rapid re-housing and the impact it had on housing investments, families served, and overall implementation of coordinated entry and prioritization. Presenters touch on how to successfully use rapid re-housing to serve victims of domestic violence.