1.12 Linda Olsen


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1.12 Linda Olsen

  1. 1. PREVENTION AND RAPID REHOUSING FOR DV SURVIVORS: DV Housing First Pilot Project National Conference on Ending Homelessness 7/13-15, 2011
  2. 2. WHAT IS THE PROJECT? <ul><li>In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded 2 years of funding to: </li></ul><ul><li>Four domestic violence agencies in Washington State to pilot a basic Housing First Approach to housing/services for survivors </li></ul><ul><li>Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to provide technical assistance and support </li></ul>
  3. 3. WHAT WERE THE OUTCOMES AFTER THE FIRST YEAR? <ul><li>By the end of 2010, 112 participants had entered the program </li></ul><ul><li>40.2% had permanent housing at program entry and had retained that housing at point-in-time check in </li></ul><ul><li>52.7% obtained permanent housing and were still in permanent housing at point-in-time check in </li></ul><ul><li>2.7% were working on permanent housing </li></ul><ul><li>4.5% had obtained permanent housing but were no longer in permanent housing </li></ul>
  4. 4. WHAT WAS THE SERVICE LEVEL? <ul><li>55.9% Light Touch </li></ul><ul><li>27% Medium Touch </li></ul><ul><li>17.1% High Need </li></ul>
  5. 5. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? <ul><li>Light touch—simple, discrete needs that are met quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Medium touch—discrete needs met as above, plus connected with agency’s services for a short period of time </li></ul><ul><li>Higher needs—all of the above, plus long term planning with the advocate in order to obtain housing, improve financial situation, and address other issues </li></ul>
  6. 6. WHAT WAS THE HOUSING STATUS OF SURVIVORS? <ul><li>49.6% had permanent housing when they entered program </li></ul><ul><li>50.4% were either homeless or in shelter </li></ul>
  7. 7. TREND IN 2011? <ul><li>28 new program participants in first quarter </li></ul><ul><li>75% had permanent housing at intake </li></ul><ul><li>21.4% were in shelter </li></ul><ul><li>3.6% were homeless </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in light touch and high needs </li></ul>
  8. 8. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? <ul><li>“ I guess being flexible has just been the biggest thing to learn about this project. It is not saying no, and instead thinking about, ‘Well, why not? Could we do it? Okay, so how can we do it.’” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Survivor-centered advocacy is key <ul><li>Meeting survivor where s/he is </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy focused on safety planning with each step </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforcement of autonomy and self-determination—choices honored…always </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking “outside the box” for creative solutions </li></ul>
  10. 10. FLEXIBILITY IN FUNDING <ul><li>Flexible funding leads to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tailored services that support family stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help for those who may have “fallen through the cracks” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficient use of funds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saying yes instead of saying no </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS <ul><li>Advocates learned that the time investment in building relationships with private landlords and public housing agencies increased understanding of domestic violence and willingness to rent to survivors. </li></ul>
  12. 12. WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FOR THE PROJECT? <ul><li>Current 4 agency cohort will receive additional funding for third year, with emphasis on sustainability plans for approach </li></ul><ul><li>New cohort of up to 8 agencies in process of being selected for 3 years of funding, with emphasis on culturally/linguistically specific and tribal communities. </li></ul><ul><li>WSCADV funded to provide technical assistance for 3 more years </li></ul>
  13. 13. AND AFTER 2014? <ul><li>Build on the current learning community of cohort agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Publicize lessons learned and outcomes from project </li></ul><ul><li>Create forums for policy makers, public and private funders, and community donors to participate and learn </li></ul><ul><li>Share strategies and tools to replicate project in specific communities—statewide and beyond </li></ul>
  14. 14. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE <ul><li>Housing First is possible for DV survivors—even when there is “current” DV and a high level of lethality </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible for DV survivors to remain in or return to their homes—thereby preventing homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Services (advocacy) have to be driven by the survivor within a framework of safety planning </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate staff need to be highly trained and creative with excellent critical thinking skills </li></ul><ul><li>Think flexibility in funding for financial assistance </li></ul>
  15. 15. MORE IMPLICATIONS: STRONG RELATIONSHIPS <ul><li>Include DV agencies in Continuum of Care plans and County 10-year Plans to End Homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Cross Training </li></ul><ul><li>Referral agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Develop program protocols through DV lens </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated Entry and HMIS solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual Consultative Support </li></ul><ul><li>Landlord Liaison Work Together </li></ul>
  16. 16. QUESTIONS? <ul><li>Linda Olsen, MA, MSW </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Program Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>206-389-2515, ext 205 </li></ul><ul><li>www.wscadv.org </li></ul>