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VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 24

									          Responding to Violence Against
          Women through a Housing First
                    Program
                     Volunteers of America, Oregon
                              Home Free
                                  Kris Billhardt
                             Kbillhardt@voaor.org


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      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.

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      DV in Multnomah County

             28,000 victims; 3/5 have children
             Police DV Unit:10,000 reports/year
             Over 50% of all reported violent crime
             Largest contributing factor to area homicides
             Significant factor in 35% of long term child
              abuse/neglect cases
             Over 30,000 crisis calls to DV hotlines
             15,000 DV shelter bednights annually

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      Link Between DV and Housing Stability
             Poor women experience DV at higher rates and have
              fewer resources with which to seek/maintain safe and
              stable housing
             46% of homeless women report having stayed in an
              abusive relationship because they had nowhere else
              to go
             38% of all DV survivors become homeless at some
              point
             DV’s effects can dramatically impact the ability to
              obtain/maintain stable housing, incl. physical and
              mental health, employment, education, and
              connection to social supports

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      Link Between DV and Housing Stability
      II
             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
                 • Ruined credit
                 • Apartment damage
                 • Discrimination based on status as victims
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      Link Between DV and Housing
      Stability III
             Obstacles to affordable housing may seem
              insurmountable; many remain with or return
              to abuser
             High density/high violence in public housing
              complexes may place women at continued
              risk
             Chronicity of DV results in repeated choice
              between homelessness and abuse
             Denials, evictions, lease terminations based
              on violence/ abuser interference

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      VOA Home Free – History

      1926: VOA est. Mothers and Children’s
      Home to serve “abandoned” women
      and children
      •DV became focal in the 70’s
      •Family Center/
      Transition House, 1989

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     VOA Home Free – History II

     1998 – The Beginnings of Change
     Outreach component added to residential
     service elements




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      Home Free’s Big Change:
      October, 2003
      •Closed Shelter
      •Hotline hours reduced to 8AM- 6PM M-F
      •Expanded motel vouchering
      •Expanded housing-focused services
      •Expanded outstationed services and mobile
      advocacy

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      VOA Home Free – Program Design
       Emergency Services                                 Out-stationed Services



                        Children’s Services




                       Transitional and Housing
                                Services




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      Housing First
             Stresses immediate return to
                permanent, neighborhood-based
                housing, along with 6-12 months of
                individualized support to ensure
                retention (Portland Community
                Standard)


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      Housing First Research Findings
        Homeless individuals more likely
         to sustain housing when given a
         permanent home
        Vulnerable/at-risk families more
         responsive to interventions and
         community supports after in their
         own housing

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      The Case for Housing First with
      DV Survivors

             Finding and keeping housing one of greatest
              barriers faced by women who leave abusers
             Research suggests that women who secure
              housing reduce chances of revictimization
             Women linked with advocates during post-
              crisis period report higher quality of life, more
              social supports, and less re-abuse


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      VOA Home Free’s Housing First
      Program
             Staffed by 5 mobile advocates
             Budget includes $175,000 in direct
              client assistance funds
             Capacity: 80-100 households/yr (8-12
              per advocate) in housing program
             Duration of services: Up to two years
             Scattered-site model (private market or
              public housing)
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         Referrals to Home Free Housing Services
                     4%                                     Other Home Free
               8%                                           Programs 49%
                                                            Culturally Specific
       8%                                                   Service Providers 19%
                                                            Domestic Violence
                                                            Shelters 12%
                                        49%
  12%                                                       Legal Resources 8%

                                                            Word-of-Mouth 8%


                                                            Public School
            19%                                             Counselors 4%

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 Participant Flow Through Housing Services
                                            MILESTONE 1
                                              First contact.
                                           Focus: Response to
                     DESTINATION
                                            immediate needs.       MILESTONE 2
           Full life not defined by DV.
           Financially stable, making                                   Intake. Focus:
           own choices, capable self-          Eligibility:            taking steps on
                     advocate.              •Surviving DV/SA           short term plan,
                                            •Immediate crisis          housing search.
                                                stabilized.
          MILESTONE 6                            •Housing
         Focus: Embedding
                                                                               MILESTONE 3
                                              stabilization a                       Housing
       pattern of financial self              primary need.
       sufficiency. Increased                                                  obtained. Focus:
                                                •Financial                        Addressing
      sense of personal power                resourcefulness
        and resourcefulness.                                                   issues/needs that
                                          compromised by DV/                     better ensure
                                              other barriers                       retention.
                       MILESTONE 5                        MILESTONE 4
                          Transition to               Active work on long-term
                       permanency. Focus:               goals. Focus: taking
                     Discontinue reliance on        increasing responsibility for
                            subsidy.                   finances and systems
                                                             navigation.
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      Advocacy Services Include:
      (You Name it!)
             Accompaniment, home visits
             Housing search, job search, job training referrals
             Danger Assessments and safety planning
             Direct financial assistance
             Intervention/case coordination with other systems
             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

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      Who We Are Serving
             Average Age of Adults served: 30
             Age Range of adults: 17 – 54
             Race/Ethnicity:
                 31% white (79.2% in population)
                 29% Latino (9% in population)
                 28% African-American (5.7% in
                  population)
                 9% Native American (1% in population)
                 1% Asian (.4% in population)

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                     Who We Are Serving II
   80

   70

   60

   50

   40

   30

   20

   10

    0
          U.S. Not    Disability    Arrest    Alcohol and Mental Health Households Involvement
         Country of     16%        History   Drug History   History    w ith Children w ith Child
        Origin 23%                   26%         30%           46%          80%        Welfare
                                                                                      System
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                                                                                                    19
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      Early Results
     80                                                        89%
     70                                                        Obtained
                                                               Housing
     60
     50                                                         92% remain
                                                               in housing
     40
     30                                                         Avg. time in
                                                               housing TD:
     20                                                        13 mo.
     10                                                        (range 1 – 30
                                                               mo.)
      0
            Enrolled   Obtained     Remains in Left Program
                       Housing       Housing
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  A Study of the Effectiveness of a
  Housing Intervention for Battered
  Women
   A cooperative agreement between Multnomah County
   Domestic Violence Coordinator’s Office and the Centers for
   Disease Control and Prevention


   Study Purpose: Evaluate the effectiveness, including
   cost-effectiveness, of an existing permanent housing
   program provided by VOA Home Free in preventing
   revictimization and reducing negative health outcomes
   of survivors of IPV and their children.

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       Study Design

      Participants: Women domestic violence victims,
       age 18-64, who speak English or Spanish
      Study begins at “post-crisis” stage of service
       delivery
      Data collected (baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months):
        – Outcomes for women and their children
        – Cost of domestic violence and cost
          effectiveness of the housing models

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       Study Design II
      Intervention group: VOA Home Free housing program
         (housing first plus DV advocacy)

      Comparison groups:
           VOA Home Free Mobile Advocacy Services (limited
            or no rent assistance + DV advocacy)
           Raphael House of Portland (emergency shelter with
            DV advocacy)
           DHS Self Sufficiency TA-DVS Program (short-term
            housing assistance + limited DV advocacy)
           Portland Impact Safety Net (housing first + limited DV
            advocacy)
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      Importance of the Research Project
             Current housing research doesn’t consider
                effectiveness of housing first for DV victims
             Current DV research doesn’t consider impact of
                housing instability on victim’s ability to stay safe or on
                children’s outcomes
             Funding priorities at OVW and HUD shifting to
                longer-term housing and to “proven practices”
             Some housing policy creates barriers for victims and
                their children
             Study can demonstrate need to expand range of
                housing options for survivors and their children

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