Low Barrier Programs

Many programs are examining ways to better ensure access to services by eliminating requirements that can become barriers for those seeking help with housing and/or victim services.

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Safe, Accessible Housing for Survivors: The Low-Barrier Approach

District Alliance for Safe Housing

The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) was founded in 2006 to provide families experiencing domestic violence with emergency and long-term safe housing, and homelessness prevention services. The organization’s mission is to be an innovator in providing access to safe housing and services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families as they rebuild their lives on their own terms. This report summarizes findings from an evaluation conducted in 2011 as to the effectiveness of their approach.

Homelessness and Domestic Violence

Linda Olsen
Kris Billhardt

This presentation reviews the intersection between domestic violence homelessness/housing insecurity and provides information about effective approaches to support survivors toward safe and stable housing. Program examples from Oregon and Washington are provided.

Women Need Safe, Stable, Affordable Housing: A Study of Social, Private and Co-op Housing in Winnipeg

Molly McCracken

This study looked at gender-specific issues related to housing programs in Winnipeg, Canada. Among other findings, safety was a key concern among women looking for housing. Researchers noted that many women have experienced domestic violence in their homes, and that women are more likely to stay in unsafe situations because of their inability to find other housing. Women in the study described having experienced sexual harassment from landlords, and reported that safety features such as lighting sensors and cameras in stairwells and elevators made them feel safer. The authors strongly recommend implementation of gender-based analysis in all housing policies and programs, and note that cooperative (shared) housing is greatly assistive to women with low incomes.

Tips for Using Video Conferencing for Victim Services

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

Videoconferencing can be a good option because it provides survivors with an alternative way to meet with a provider or counselor. Additional benefits include increasing accessibility and allowing survivors to talk to advocates who have expertise in whatever service the survivor needs, such as being able to speak the same language or understand the survivor’s cultural background. Using video conferencing can also save money and provide high quality contact for those who are unable to travel to the program’s location due to lack of transportation or because they live too far from the program. Video contact also can be more personal than a phone call or email.