Enhancing housing security of domestic violence survivors
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Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors. Kris Billhardt Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free [email protected] VOA Home Free . Emergency Services. Out-stationed Services. Children’s Services. Housing First and Transitional Services.

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Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors

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Enhancing housing security of domestic violence survivors

Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors

Kris Billhardt

Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free

[email protected]


Enhancing housing security of domestic violence survivors

VOA Home Free

Emergency Services

Out-stationed Services

Children’s Services

Housing First and Transitional Services

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Domestic violence and homelessness

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

  • Families comprise 40% of homeless population and is fastest growing segment

  • 60% of homeless women have children

  • Nine of ten homeless mothers been victims of violence, often domestic

  • 2/3 of homeless women have been assaulted by an adult partner

  • 38% of all DV survivors become homeless at some point

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


The link between dv and housing insecurity

The Link Between DV and Housing Insecurity

  • 22-57% of homeless women identify DV as the main cause of their homelessness

  • 46% of homeless women report having stayed in an abusive relationship because they had nowhere else to go

  • Housing insecurity strongly implicated in return to an abuser

  • Poor women experience DV at higher rates and have fewer resources with which to seek/maintain safe and stable housing

  • DV has significant effects on many areas of survivors’ lives that can increase risk of poverty and homelessness ( physical & mental health, employment, education, social supports)

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Dv and housing insecurity

DV and Housing Insecurity

  • Homelessness is only one end of a continuum of housing problems faced by women experiencing DV

    • Missed or late payments for rent/utilities

    • Compromises: selling belongings or skipping food to make payments

    • Ineligibility for housing services due to credit, landlord, or criminal justice problems

  • Some families face barriers to using emergency shelters

  • Racism results in disproportionate number of survivors of color among the homeless

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


The need for specialized services

The Need for Specialized Services

  • Denials, evictions, ruined credit, lease terminations often based on violence/abuser interference

  • Survivors experience discrimination based on status as victims

  • High density/high violence in public housing complexes may place women at continued risk, trigger trauma

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


The need for specialized services1

The Need for Specialized Services

  • Women who move to housing where “the abuser can’t find them” are more likely to be re-assaulted by the most dangerous abusers

  • Stalking, harassment, on-going violence and threats by the perpetrator may occur even after survivor is housed

  • When obstacles to affordable housing seem insurmountable, this may mean a return to a dangerous home

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


The need for specialized services2

The Need for Specialized Services

  • More than ½ of domestic violence survivors live in households with children under 12

  • 47% of homeless school-aged children and 29% of homeless children under 5 have witnessed domestic violence in their families

  • Witnessing violence has significant negative impact on development, behavior, education, health, mental health, and increased risk- taking behaviors as adolescents and adults

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share study

SHARE Study:

“Effectiveness of a Housing Intervention for Battered Women”Co-PI: Chiquita Rollins, PhDNancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RNMultnomah County, Oregon U49CE000520-01Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share study design

SHARE: Study Design

  • Participants: Women domestic violence victims, age 18-64

  • Study begins at “post-crisis” stage of service delivery

  • Data collected:

    • Outcomes for women and their children

    • Cost of domestic violence and cost effectiveness of the housing models

  • Interviews at 6-month intervals for 18 months, with reimbursement

  • Qualitative interviews focusing on inter-relationships between housing and victimization

  • Cost effectiveness study

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share results baseline preliminary 89 participants

SHARE Results: Baseline Preliminary (89 participants)

  • Almost one-quarter (24.7%) of participants reported it was very unlikely to unlikely that they would be able to pay for housing this month (month of the interview).

  • An additional 21.5% reported that it was somewhat likely that they would be able to pay for housing.

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share results baseline preliminary

SHARE Results: Baseline Preliminary

  • The vast majority (88.8%) of women reported difficulty in meeting basic needs (e.g. food, transportation, health care visits).

  • Over one-third (37.2%) of women reported often to sometimes not having enough food to eat.

  • Almost half (49.4%) of women reported their general health as poor or fair in the past 6 months

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share results risk factors for housing instability

SHARE Results: Risk Factors for Housing Instability

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Share results risk of lethal violence

SHARE Results: Risk of Lethal Violence

  • Danger Assessment (20 item measure of risk for lethal violence in abusive relationships)

    • Mean score =11.4 (extreme danger for lethal violence)

  • Examined the correlation between risk of housing instability and risk of lethal violence

    • Increased housing instability was significantly associated with increased risk of lethal violence.

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Dv housing link requires an integrated approach

DV/Housing Link Requires An Integrated Approach

  • Finding and keeping housing is one of the greatest barriers faced by women who leave abusers

  • Mothers with less stable financial, social, and living situations reported their children to have intervened more during past violent incidents

  • Women who secure housing reduce their chances of re-victimization, but housing vouchers not paired with special interventions may not be effective

  • Women linked with advocates during post-crisis period report higher quality of life, more social supports and less re-victimization

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


What can be done dv providers

What Can Be Done: DV Providers

  • In addition to continued focus on immediate safety, incorporate services that respond to survivors’ critical need for housing as part of DV advocacy

  • Expand ability to provide long-term advocacy involvement with survivors

  • Identify ways for some staff to provide mobile services

  • Intervene with landlords to help overcome barriers based on credit or rental history

  • Develop relationship with local housing authority

  • Form partnerships with homeless services providers

  • Be a voice in your community’s Ten-Year Plan

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


What can be done homeless service providers

What Can Be Done: Homeless Service Providers

  • Form partnerships with your local DV agencies

  • Screen for and be prepared to address domestic violence

  • Develop safety planning protocol (for use with victims and in housing facilities)

  • Incorporate awareness of batterers’ on-going stalking, harassment and assaults into policy and practice

  • Training for staff that includes strong focus on countering victim-blaming

  • Link to other community resources vital for safety (law enforcement, civil legal, courts, protection orders)

  • Screen for and respond to needs of children exposed to batterers

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


What can be done dv and homeless service providers

What Can Be Done – DV and Homeless Service Providers

  • Cooperative - not competitive!- advocacy for more funding

  • Advocate for change in federal housing policy (ex. HUD definition of chronic homelessness and “special needs” that limits federal housing support)

  • Training, training, training!

  • Partnerships galore

  • Survivor-driven approaches

  • Trauma-informed services

  • Be willing to create new models

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Home free s housing first program

Home Free’s Housing First Program

  • Eligibility: Immediate DV crisis somewhat stabilized, housing stabilization a primary need, financial resourcefulness compromised by DV/other barriers

  • Staffed by mobile advocates

  • Earmarked funds for direct client assistance

  • 8-12 participants per advocate

  • Duration of services: Up to two years

  • Scattered-site model (private market or public housing)

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Advocacy services include

Advocacy Services Include:

  • Danger Assessment and ongoing safety planning

  • Accompaniment to appointments, court hearings

  • Housing search, job search, job training referrals

  • Home visits

  • Rental subsidy and other direct financial assistance

  • Systems navigation/coordinate with other providers

  • Advocacy with landlords, Housing Authority

  • Linkages to civil legal and immigration law services

  • Direct services to children

  • Help with budgeting, goal planning

  • DV and parenting support groups

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Enhancing housing security of domestic violence survivors

Who We Are Serving

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


Early results

Early Results

89%

Obtained

Housing

92% remain

in housing

Avg. time in

housing TD:

13 mo.

(range 1 – 30

mo.)

Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free


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