The Importance of Stable Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence

written by Sam Batko
April 3, 2012
 

A little over a year ago, the Alliance released apaper on using a rapid re-housing model to end homelessness for survivors of domestic violence.  This paper was based on the successes and lessons learned by community programs using a rapid re-housing model to serve survivors.

One of the programs featured in that paper and also featured in a separate best practice on the Alliance website is Home Free, a Volunteers of America – Oregon program.  Home Free recently participated in a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study that examined the link between stable housing and domestic violence.

Recently, the Alliance hosted a webinar that highlighted some of the findings from that study, including that as housing stability increased:

  • Women and children were safer,
  • Women had greater job stability and improved income, and
  • Children missed fewer days in school and displayed fewer behavior problems.

Perhaps most strikingly, when women who participated in the study were asked what made the biggest difference in their life, they said “having housing.”  And, when asked what agencies did that was the most helpful, they stated the provision of housing services.

If that weren’t enough, the study also estimated the cost savings of housing survivors on the basis of decreases in their need of emergency services, including police, emergency medical care, and safety net programs. The total savings for emergency systems based on estimated costs was $535,000.

To learn more, please join the Alliance’s next webinar on April 12 at 3 pm ET , featuring  Melissa Erlbaum from Clackamas Women’s Services and Megan Owens of Hamilton Family Center, who will focus on the partnerships between homelessness assistance providers and domestic violence service providers to help survivors access permanent housing.

Image courtesy of  NoVa Hokie.