In the United States, there may be as many as 10 million people who experience domestic violence every year. Unfortunately, since homelessness and domestic violence are inextricably linked, some of these households will experience homelessness.
Since October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s a good time to take stock of the scope of domestic violence in America and what our shelters can do to help households fleeing abuse. This topic is important to all emergency shelters (not just domestic violence shelters), as domestic violence survivors tend to end up in a variety of shelters.
While the new CoC Program NOFA has lots of great parts, like its focus on encouraging programs to adopt a Housing First approach and prioritize serving unsheltered people, the most exciting part for me was all the great new homeless youth content.
Before I get into the details, it should be noted that young people ages 18 to 24 are also counted among the chronic, domestic violence, and family homelessness populations (and maybe even the veterans). So that means that all of the great NOFA insights my Alliance colleagues have been blogging and webcasting about also apply to youth.
If you’re working on your application to the FY 2015 Continuum of Care competition you’ve probably noticed that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has placed a big emphasis on Housing First in this year’s Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).
With this NOFA, HUD is acknowledging that program barriers that exclude people from receiving help, or prolong their homelessness, are not a smart investment. It’s doing that by heavily incentivizing a low barrier, Housing First approach that will ensure people with the highest needs are not denied the help they need.