Community engagement refers to advocates working in the community to build lasting connections with the goal of engaging community members in supporting survivors’ safety, independence, and housing stability.
It is not always possible for domestic violence programs to have all the resources survivor’s need to become stable. Therefore, it is important that organizations make intentional efforts to establish and maintain relationships with other community resources.
Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) requires that advocates have access and knowledge of other community resources. Advocates need to be able to carve out time to reach out to community partners and build relationships.
Review your community to get an idea of what resources already exist for survivors:
- Find out who is already providing housing/homeless services in your community so you can begin to collaborate
- Use this spreadsheet to identify and track various resources in your community
- Locate housing and homelessness resources
Think about your staffing patterns and what may need to change to include housing search and support for survivors:
- Will advocates offer housing search and support?
- Will you consider hiring or working with a housing navigator?
- Will you collaborate with other organizations that have staff who provide housing search?
We have found that to eliminate housing as a reason for survivors to stay in an abusive relationship, they need multiple options. This requires that advocates have access to a spectrum of housing options that meet a survivor’s unique needs.
These housing options should include:
- Homeless prevention (staying in their current homes)
- Rapid re-housing
- Subsidized housing
- Permanent supportive housing
Private landlords and Public Housing Authorities:
- Tips and tools for landlord outreach and education
- Housing rights for survivors in public and private housing
Relationships with Housing/Homeless providers is key to creating more housing options for survivors of domestic violence. Use this training template to talk with your local housing/homeless providers on how they can support survivors of domestic violence.