Although these paradigm shifts have presented important opportunities for reimaging IPV services, they are not without their challenges. As one example, the Housing First model's philosophy of client autonomy and flexibility (Padgett, Henwood, & Tsemberis, 2016) aligns well with the IPV movement's emphasis on survivor-defined practice (Sullivan & Olsen, 2017). However, IPV programs have had to develop new strategies to put these principles into practice in ways that address the unique safety needs of homeless survivors. As another example, differing and sometimes contradictory federal policies can create obstacles to cross-system collaboration.
This symposium will feature three papers on innovative housing interventions for IPV survivors to illuminate their inherent opportunities and challenges. The first paper examines SASH (Survivors Achieving Stable Housing), a program that emerged from an ongoing academic-practitioner partnership of researchers, practitioners, and a public housing authority. SASH's primary purpose is to allocate a set of earmarked Housing Choice vouchers to IPV survivors. Presenters will describe the program, with an emphasis on challenges and successes, and present preliminary findings from the evaluation component. The second paper also focuses on SASH, but hones in on the evidence-informed screening process that was developed to allocate vouchers to survivors. Presenters will describe the development of the screening tool, allocation process, lessons learned, and how those lessons are being implemented for future voucher allocation. The third paper presents findings from an evaluation of a newly established IPV transitional housing program offering coordinated services from IPV and homeless prevention organizations. In-depth interviews with program participants highlight the extent to which the transitional housing program could address their unique and complex service needs.
The symposium will feature a discussant from the service community whose primary area of expertise is alternative housing programs for IPV survivors. She will lead a structured discussion to identify strategies that can engage practice, research, and policy communities to successfully achieve the social work Grand Challenge Initiatives of Stopping Family Violence and Ending Homelessness.