Examining the Impact of Mobile Advocacy and Flexible Funding on Domestic Violence Survivors’ Housing Stability and Well-being

Dr. Cris Sullivan, who originally developed the Community Advocacy Project in collaboration with domestic violence survivors in the 1980s, is now working with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to longitudinally examine the impact of mobile advocacy and flexible funding on the long-term well-being of domestic violence survivors and their children.

Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) is a project of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is very similar to the Community Advocacy Project in that it involves having advocates work with survivors in their own homes and communities. DVHF has a more specific focus on housing than does CAP, however, DVHF focuses on helping domestic violence survivors and their children rapidly access new housing, or retain their current housing, and maintain safety and stability in their housing — often bypassing emergency shelters.  The keys to this promising approach are that advocates (1) provide individualized, flexible, and mobile assistance within survivors’ chosen communities; (2) provide the flexible funding needed to meet immediate needs related to housing and safety; (3) work directly with landlords and public housing authorities to expand options for survivors; and (4) use a trauma-informed lens to respond to survivors’ and children’s needs related not only to past victimization but often to ongoing threats, sabotage and violence. Stay tuned for the evidence behind this project!

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