Building Collaborative Relationships to Address Family Homelessness

No matter how comprehensive your services, no one program can do it all. Partnerships and collaborations across systems can be a boon to ensuring that survivors receive the support they need.

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

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.

Safe Homes, Safe Communities: A Guide For Local Leaders On Domestic Violence And Fair Housing


Survivors are at heightened risk for homelessness and housing insecurity, due to factors including discrimination, loss of employment, economic abuse leading to poor credit history, and survivor’s need to be in a home that is secure from their abuser. This guide recommends best practices for local leaders to promote fair housing for DV survivors in their communities. Survivors are at heightened risk for homelessness and housing insecurity, due to factors including discrimination, loss of employment, economic abuse leading to poor credit history, and survivor’s need to be in a home that is secure from their abuser. This guide recommends best practices for local leaders to promote fair housing for DV survivors in their communities.This guide is written for municipal, county, and state leaders who influence the policies of their communities with respect to housing, emergency shelter, policing, and social services. Advocates can also use this guide to strengthen how their community addresses the housing needs of survivors.

Closing the Gap: Integrating Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence Experiencing Homelessness - A Toolkit for Transitional Housing Programs

Carmela DeCandia, et al.
National Center on Family Homelessness

Despite similarities in the population served, the DV and homeless service systems are generally not integrated, operate in silos, and are not connected to mainstream services in most communities. While there are well-established links in the literature on DV and homelessness, integration of the two systems in policy and practice is still emerging. This toolkit was created to address the gap between DV and homeless service systems. By laying the groundwork to understand the intersection between DV and homelessness, this toolkit offers practical strategies that providers can follow to improve service integration.

Housing Policy and Systems Advocacy for Domestic Violence Survivors

Catherine Trapani

 The presentation includes: the intersection of homelessness and domestic violence and the need for creative advocacy; how to craft a housing advocacy plan for your community; where federal and state housing policy “sits” at the local level and how to influence its implementation; and strategies for choosing partners in your plan to advocate for meaningful solutions.

Responding to the Call for Safe Housing

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.

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

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.

Innovative Strategies to Provide Housing for Battered Women

Amy Correia

This policy and practice paper highlights how eight domestic violence organizations are responding to the housing needs of battered women in their communities. There are many different aspects to building housing programs, including resource acquisition, building collaborations with other agencies, and program development. The summaries in this report describe how eight programs tackled these issues.

Creating Trauma-Informed Services: A Guide for Sexual Assault Programs and Their System Partners

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

The advocacy field has used the term “survivor-centered services” for years to describe how we approach our work. Survivor-centered services use many of the concepts of trauma-informed services. However, the practice of trauma-informed services makes these principles accessible across disciplines, and is broader in scope. Survivor-centered services seek to meet the needs of identified individuals who have been victimized, in a respectful manner, whereas trauma-informed services acknowledge the high proportion of survivors, identified or not, served by professionals in the health, human services, and criminal justice arenas. Providers are challenged to offer all services in a manner that would support and empower survivors.

Technology and Confidentiality Resources Toolkit for Nonprofit Victim Service Agencies and Advocates

National Network to End Domestic Violence

Privacy and confidentiality is paramount to safety for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Yet victim service agencies may need to share information in many ways: with community partners, within community coordinated response teams, through referrals to other service providers, or in community-wide data collection initiatives. This website provides guidance for agencies in understanding their obligations to confidentiality in accordance to federal laws, best practices to ensure survivor-centered services, when and how much information to keep, and how best to share information with others.

Addressing Housing Barriers for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Colorado: A Toolkit for Advocates

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Discriminatory housing practices by landlords, local laws, and public housing agencies can contribute greatly to survivors' homelessness and can often force a survivor to choose between homelessness and staying with an abusive partner. Advocates and local programs have an important role to play in reducing barriers to housing and advocating for survivors to maintain or find affordable housing. This toolkit is designed to assist advocates in better understanding federal and state law housing protections, survivor rights, options for housing, and how to work with your local public housing authorities and landlords to better serve survivors.

Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook - Chapter 19: Domestic Violence

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This Guide is designed to assist public housing authority staff and HUD with a range of issues related to public housing occupancy, from application for admission and rent calculations through ongoing occupancy to lease termination. The guidebook is intended to provide a handy reference for all aspects of admissions and occupancy administration. This chapter is intended to establish a framework for the relationship between public housing agencies, victims of domestic violence who reside in public housing, and the domestic violence providers who may facilitate measures PHAs can employ to combat the problem.

Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness

Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This promising practice resource focuses on the way Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are effectively using partnerships to serve homeless children and how other service providers can build relationships with their local Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Evidence from partnerships around the country has shown that these reciprocal relationships help foster an environment of healthy development for young children experiencing homelessness and help move families out of homelessness.

Home Free's Employment Access Services

Kris Billhardt
VOA Home Free

This presentation discusses Home Free's addition of employment access services to its Housing First program, provides suggestions for programs wanting to move in this direction and emphasizes the importance of partnerships to better ensure that survivors receive assistance with this important service.

Why It Matters: Rethinking Victim Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Victims of Hate Violence & Intimate Partner Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

In May of 2009, the National Center and NCAVP partnered to produce two related questionnaires surveying community-based organizations and victim assistance providers, including criminal and civil justice agencies, regarding their work with LGBTQii victims and survivors of violence. This survey is the first of its kind and sheds light on the important barriers faced by mainstream and LGBTQ service providers to adequately address the needs of LGBTQ victims of violence. This report makes recommendations and ultimately proposes collaboration between mainstream victim assistance agencies and LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs to increase the efficacy and equity of services provided to LGBTQ victims of crime, particularly hate violence and intimate partner violence.

Best Practice Toolkit for Working with Domestic Violence Survivors with Criminal Histories

Sheryl Kubiak, et al.
Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Produced by the Open Doors Project of the Michigan State Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, this toolkit is aimed at helping domestic and sexual violence programs meet the challenges posed by the individual, community, and systems-level barriers faced by survivors with criminal histories. Includes a section on housing and employment barriers.