Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking Shelters: Survivors First
Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking are increasingly poor, with fewer housing options, and with longer histories of intermittent homelessness than ever before. Many of the households served by City-funded DV/HT shelter agencies live below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and even more troubling is the large percentage of those living at less than half of FPL. The 2020 Los Angeles Point in Time Homeless Count (PIT) identified a 16% increase of homeless persons in the City of LA since 2019, and 32% of those surveyed had experienced domestic violence. Similarly, a leading risk for DV and HT survivors is a lack of affordable, permanent housing and housing stability.
The COVID-19 epidemic has drastically increased the barriers survivors face in obtaining economic stability. The Survivor First Program will support survivors in reestablishing themselves after the hardships of this pandemic.
The Survivors First Homelessness Prevention Program offers flexible financial assistance to help survivors establish or maintain permanent housing.
The key components of the Survivors First Homelessness Prevention Program include:
• Survivor-driven, trauma-informed mobile advocacy: advocates meet clients wherever is convenient for them to reduce barriers to service.
• Flexible financial assistance: assistance designed to house a participant quickly and efficiently.
• Community/landlord engagement: advocates dedicate time to building relationships with landlords to lessen barriers for clients and increase the chances of multiple participants being placed in units.
The Survivors First Homelessness Prevention Program is designed after a successful Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) model, being implemented throughout the country, to support survivors with quickly moving into safe, permanent housing. The DVHF program was designed to eliminate housing as a barrier to survivors leaving an abusive relationship by providing flexible advocacy. It was designed from the lens of a survivor, which offers an alternative approach to addressing the unique needs of survivors that have proven more effective than the Coordinated Entry System in serving this specific population with a 96% success rate in people remaining permanently housed after 18 months