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NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free1 Innovations in Domestic Violence Response: Creating New Options for Survivors Volunteers.

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Presentation on theme: "NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free1 Innovations in Domestic Violence Response: Creating New Options for Survivors Volunteers."— Presentation transcript:

1 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free1 Innovations in Domestic Violence Response: Creating New Options for Survivors Volunteers of America, Oregon Home Free Kris Billhardt

2 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free2 Caveats and Disclaimers Development of new response models does not negate the need for programs that provide immediate safety for DV survivors. This is not a prescription or a miracle solution; simply our experience of change and its benefits. Consider our program’s story as to whether or how it may be applicable in your community to add to options available to DV survivors.

3 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free3 Background: Home Free History 1926: VOA established the Mothers and Children’s Home to serve “abandoned” women and children DV became focal in the 70’s Family Center/ Transition House, 1989

4 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free4 Background: Home Free History II 1998 – Expanding Beyond Shelter Outreach services and mobile advocacy methods are added to residential service elements

5 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free5 Discoveries… We were reaching a different sub-group of survivors Motel vouchering served as a bridge to shelter, or AS shelter Mobile advocacy removed many barriers to survivors engaging in services Advocates’ mobility made an astounding difference in how they could assist Flexible funds were instrumental in survivors’ successful outcomes

6 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free6 …and the ensuing musing  With 1FTE and $50,000, we’ve stabilized 35 families in safe housing...  The cost of 2 shelter nights for a family of four is equivalent to a month’s rent for the same family…  If we had more advocates not tied to the shelter…  With most of the system’s funding going to residential services, how many survivors and children have no access to help?

7 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free7 Home Free’s Big Change: October, 2003 Closed Shelter Hotline reduced to 8AM to 6PM M-F Expanded motel vouchering Expanded housing-focused services Expanded outstationed services and mobile advocacy

8 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free8 Steps to Change I Program Assessment Fit with Mission: How are our current services moving us toward our goal to end DV? Constituent Expertise: What are survivors telling us about their needs? Demographic Trends: Who are we not seeing in our program, and what can we change to increase access?

9 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free9 Steps to Change II Piloting: Try New Ideas on a Small Scale Identify projects/funding  HUD Horizons  VOCA Project Grants  Foundation funds  AmeriCorps Cultivate key partnerships/agreements Develop necessary expertise, policies, and practices

10 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free10 Steps to Change III Assess Pilot Programs High utilization of piloted services obviated need Services are cost efficient Services could be expanded with no new money if resources were reallocated Positive impact on system: reduce service duplication, & fill gaps in our system Services did indeed improve our community’s response to underserved needs of survivors

11 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free11 Steps to Change IV Clarifying Our Aims to Inform Our Redesign Reduce need for survivors to delay leaving abuse because shelter beds are full Provide housing options for those excluded from shelters or not served by prevailing model Increase availability of non-residentially-based support and community-based advocacy Focus on post-crisis stabilization and economic barriers implicated in decision to return to abuser Offer services that are actively interventionist, flexible, survivor-driven, and get people farther

12 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free12 Steps to Change V Environmental Scan: How Will Our Idea for Bigger Change Affect the Landscape? Community partners Systems Plan/Vision Underserved Populations Underserved Needs Funding Trends

13 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free13 Steps to Change VI Floating Your Idea: Dialog, Dialog, Dialog! Staff (early and ongoing) Agency Administration (early buy-in critical) Community partners Funders Constituents Volunteers and other supporters

14 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free14 Steps to Change VII Locking In: What Should Be in Place Timeline (ramping down and ramping up) Program site Funding commitments Partner agreements Staffing patterns (re-assignment/hiring) Job descriptions, training plan Program design, Policies and procedures Budget and cost center redesign

15 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free15 Home Free – Program Design Emergency Services Children’s Services Out-stationed Services Transitional and Housing Services

16 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free16 Challenges  Little in the way of a blueprint to follow  Community “gets” shelter Remaining shelter programs wary Some staff initially skeptical Learning curve – many new skills required Facilities and equipment needs very different

17 NAEH Annual Conference 7/18/06 Volunteers Of America, Oregon Home Free17 Successes Serving 4 times as many families with emergency vouchers than we could house in our shelter families achieve permanent housing annually with expanded intensive housing services 3,000 survivors receive brief in-person services Expanded ability to provide outstationed advocacy has increased access Substantial increase in underserved populations Enhanced participation in coordinated community response


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