Domestic Violence Housing First Toolkit
Advocacy toolkits are where you can find all of WSCADV’s resources about a particular topic in one place. This toolkit focuses on Domestic Violence Housing First.
Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness. We have found that in order for survivors to eliminate housing as a reason to stay in an abusive relationship, they need multiple options. We also know that when survivors have stable housing, they are able to focus on re-establishing their life, parenting, career, and health.
Wondering what Domestic Violence Housing First is? Start by reading this Q&A. Go here to read about Domestic Violence Housing First strategies and our pilot programs. Is this a good idea for your agency? Use this Program Assessment Tool.
Thinking about giving this a try in your community? Take a look at this Community Assessment Tool. Then, consider these Big Picture questions and explore what it’s like to do this work on the Ground Level.
- Who is already providing housing/homeless services in your community?
- What other services do people need to stay stable in their housing?
- GetMoneyGetSafe.org provides advocates and survivors with money management techniques and information on how to address debt.
- The Violence Against Women Act contains housing protections for domestic violence survivors in public housing programs.
- The Residential Landlord Tenant Act provides information on rights for domestic violence survivors who are in housing agreements with private Landlords.
- Northwest Justice Project provides eviction prevention for low income individuals.
- Washington Law Help offers information around rights regarding health, public benefits, housing, employment and immigration.
- Resources and Information:
- Beehive provides resources on employment, health and housing in both English and Spanish.
- 4People contains a comprehensive list of community resources by county for the state of Washington.
- Washington Connection is an online portal that can be used to determine eligibility for and access to public benefits.
- Think about the traditional things you’ve done to provide confidentiality and safety. What might need to change in order for you to do Domestic Violence Housing First work while maintaining these priorities?
- One agency used to have a “no home visit” policy, in order to “assure advocates are not placed in danger.” However, now they “allow for home visiting, which [still focuses] on advocate safety.”
- Home Free Safety Planning Policy and Protocol and Home Visit Safety Protocol.
- Mobile Advocacy is a pillar of Domestic Violence Housing First. Consider using Yammer, a secure and confidential social networking tool for advocates to use to communicate their whereabouts while out in the community.
- Is Domestic Violence Housing First sustainable?
- Housing First has proven to be sustainable
- The keys are diversified funding and a strategy for talking to your community and educating funders
- Calculate the cost-effectiveness of different homeless intervention programs to use when talking to your community and funders.
- What does a Domestic Violence Housing First advocate do?
- This work involves partnerships with housing advocates, private landlords, and public housing authorities. Here we explore how to build those relationships, educate your partners about the unique needs of domestic violence survivors, and how to work collaboratively on behalf of survivors:
|Identify your community resources by using this Community Assessment Tool||Take this card with you when you go to meet with local housing/homeless organizations||“We have been successful with coordinating with our local Homeless Service Center for clients transitioning out of shelter and into housing.” This program reported that the relationships they are building have resulted in several housing providers prioritizing survivors as tenants.|
|Private landlords||Building relationships takes time. Many agencies have had success in writing the time advocates spend relationship building into their grants.||Take this card with you when you’re planning to have a conversation with a landlord||
Tenant Services Hotline: 206.694.6767
Public Housing Authorities (PHAs)
|“When dealing with the local public housing apartment complexes they always let me know where my clients are on the waiting list and when a unit is coming available… the Housing Authority always lets me know when inspections are and I participate.”||“The housing first coordinator has worked very closely with the public housing agencies developing new relationships. They’ve gotten to know each other quite well and have come [together] to meet and serve survivors rather than putting up barriers…that tend to work against each other’s systems.”||“A survivor that received a…voucher from [us] has been working closely with King County Housing Authority…. The communication and cooperation has been hugely helpful to obtaining permanent subsidized housing for this survivor.”|