Kris Billhardt, NASH’s Director of Program and Practice Innovation, recently attended a convening of sixty-five programs implementing Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) projects throughout the state of California. Led by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV), funded with dollars recently made available by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Final Rule, and evaluated by the Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, these programs are truly scaling up the availability of housing assistance and advocacy that is survivor-driven, trauma-informed, and community-engaged.
Participants were treated to an overview of DVHF by Linda Olsen from the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), who developed and promoted this groundbreaking approach (and is one of NASH’s project partners). Kris provided information about the national perspective, including technical assistance resources, funding opportunities, and what’s being discovered through research and evaluation about evidence-based practices. Participants also received clear information from the state VOCA administrator about how to handle their grants and report their activities and outcomes.
Best of all, there was plenty of time for participants to learn from one another. Peer learning is facilitated by CDEDV on a regular basis for funded programs, and this convening was no exception to that commitment. Programs shared their successes, challenges they have faced and how they’ve overcome them, and made connections with one another that will undoubtedly support their ongoing work.
It was a wonderful two days, and NASH looks forward to future opportunities to further this dialog with our California colleagues!
(CPEDV is one of several state DV coalitions that have begun to provide direct support toward the development/enlargement of safe housing options for survivors. For more information about how CPEDV is supporting this project, please contact Miranda Stiers at firstname.lastname@example.org).