Date Published: November 2015
Individuals and families fleeing or healing from domestic violence or trauma should have access to the full range of housing and service intervention options available in their community, including prevention, diversion, rapid re-housing, and other housing and mainstream services. However, special consideration must be given to their unique and often complex physical and emotional safety needs. In particular, they might benefit from participation in housing programs that offer trauma-informed and culturally-relevant services.
All coordinated entry staff should be trained on the complex dynamics of domestic violence, privacy and confidentiality, and safety planning, including how to handle emergency situations at an access point(s), whether a physical or virtual location. Continuums of Care (CoCs) should also partner with their local victim service provider agencies to ensure that trainings for relevant staff are provided by informed experts in the field of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. If a household is determined to be at risk of harm when an assessment is being conducted, then the coordinated entry staff should refer the household to a victim service provider using referral criteria established for that community based on system design, program capacity, resource limitations, and placement and geography considerations. The coordinated entry process should also have a procedure to safely refer the household to the identified victim service provider, preferably with a warm hand-off including a phone call, transportation, or other transition to the victim service provider. Communities should consult with their local victim service providers or state coalitions against domestic violence to develop models for building a quality assessment process, including screening questions around domestic and sexual violence. Finally, coordinated entry staff should have up-to-date information on domestic violence shelters and general homeless shelters and housing options that are best equipped to serve households experiencing domestic violence based on their location, program model, and linkages to other supportive services.