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Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors Kris Billhardt Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors Kris Billhardt Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free"— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing Housing Security of Domestic Violence Survivors Kris Billhardt Volunteers of America, Oregon - Home Free

2 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 2 VOA Home Free Emergency Services Children’s Services Out-stationed Services Housing First and Transitional Services

3 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 3 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

4 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 4 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)

5 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 5 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

6 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 6 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

7 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 7 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

8 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 8 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

9 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 9 SHARE Study: “Effectiveness of a Housing Intervention for Battered Women” Co-PI: Chiquita Rollins, PhD Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN Multnomah County, Oregon U49CE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

10 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 10 SHARE: Study Design Participants: Women domestic violence victims, age 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

11 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 11 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.

12 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 12 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

13 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 13 SHARE Results: Risk Factors for Housing Instability 1. Had to live somewhere did not want to in the past 6 months 81% 2. Difficulty paying for housing in past 6 months 75% 3. Had to borrow money from family/friends to pay for housing in past 6 months 45% 4. Trouble with landlord (e.g. taking side of abusive partner during/after incident; charging fees for damage caused by partner) in past 6 months 44.3% 5. Landlord threatened to evict in past 6 months 31.4% 6. Served an eviction notice in past 6 months 24% 7. Do not expect to stay in current housing 64%

14 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 14 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) 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.

15 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 15 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 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 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 Women linked with advocates during post-crisis period report higher quality of life, more social supports and less re-victimization

16 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 16 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

17 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 17 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

18 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 18 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

19 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 19 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)

20 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 20 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

21 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 21 Who We Are Serving

22 NAEH Annual Conference 7/10/07 Kris Billhardt, VOA Oregon - Home Free 22 Early Results 89% Obtained Housing 92% remain in housing Avg. time in housing TD: 13 mo. (range 1 – 30 mo.)


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