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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

Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors

Kris Billhardt

Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free

[email protected]

slide2
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

slide21
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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