Advocate Toolkits

Tip sheets, fact sheets, and other guidance for advocates to help increase their effectiveness as they assist survivors to navigate systems.

= web resource    = downloadable file

Community-Based Advocates Toolkit: How to Make Sure Your Clients Have Safe Housing

District Alliance for Safe Housing

Under local and federal laws, survivors have housing rights and remedies meant to ensure access to shelter or housing, and safety in their homes or their current housing situation. This toolkit addresses  the most common questions asked and scenarios faced by domestic violence and homeless advocates in the District of Columbia. It contains information to help advocates understand the basic housing rights of domestic violence survivors and provides guidance to help survivors exercise these rights.

2021 Advocates' Guide

National Low Income Housing Coalition

The Advocates’ Guide is a go-to resource for affordable housing and community development practitioners, advocates, and policymakers for detailed descriptions of every federal housing and community development program, as well as current challenges, opportunities, and practical strategies for addressing the shortfall in housing that is affordable and available to low income people and communities.

2013 Advocates' Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy

National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes this guide in order to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low income people. The Guide includes an orientation to affordable housing and community development programs, explains how affordable housing works and why it is needed, and provides vital information to guide organizations and individuals in their advocacy efforts. Also includes information about the core affordable housing programs and policies that make housing and community development programs work on the ground.

Opening the Door: An Advocate’s Guide to Housing and Sexual Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

The occurrence of sexual violence is related to one’s access to safe and affordable housing. This is true for both sexual violence perpetration and victimization. Oppression can both heighten risk and compound the barriers that sexual violence victims and survivors encounter in housing arenas. This guide is intended to equip advocates with information and resources to support their housing advocacy efforts. Information on housing as both a sexual violence prevention and intervention advocacy area is explored.

Assisting Survivors of Domestic Violence in Applying for Housing

National Housing Law Project

This manual was created for advocates and attorneys working with survivors of domestic violence who are applying for housing. Efforts to help survivors find housing are crucial, as housing instability is a major obstacle for survivors who are seeking to end abusive relationships or to avoid returning to their abusers. The manual provides background information and sample documents that can be used to advocate on behalf of survivors who are seeking housing. The goal of this Manual is to make housing issues more accessible and easily understandable to advocates, regardless of their prior knowledge of housing law.

Guidebook on Vicarious Trauma: Recommended Solutions for Anti-Violence Workers

Jan I. Richardson
Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children

This guidebook is written for those who have chosen to dedicate a time in their life to work with abused women, children and their abusers. It attempts to recognize the unique experience of anti-violence workers and to promote individual, professional and organizational solutions to support them. Vicarious trauma is one outcome of anti-violence work; its effects cumulative and build upon memories obtained through listening to the stories of one inhumane act of cruelty after another. Understanding and working with the trauma is both an individual and organizational challenge.

Real Tools: Responding to Multi-Abuse Trauma - Chapter 10: How Should Advocates Respond?

Debi Edmund
Patricia Bland
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

This toolkit was designed in hopes that it will be widely used for training advocates and other service providers, creating support groups for individuals coping with multi-abuse trauma issues, and educating and advocating in the community. The excerpted chapter describes how advocates and programs can support survivors seeking safety, sobriety, wellness, autonomy and justice by reducing service barriers and ending isolation for people impacted by multiple abuse issues. Policies and procedures to ensure culturally competent, appropriate, non-punitive and non-judgmental accessible services are key.

Housing Rights for All: Promoting and Defending Housing Rights in the United States

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

Education for and about human rights is essential; it can contribute to the building of free, just, and peaceful societies and prevent human rights abuses. With this premise in mind, NLCHP developed this resource manual as a guide for housing rights activists in the United States and for those interested in becoming involved in housing rights issues and/or for use as a resource during training programs. The manual presents information, articles, and activities, which provide, within the specific context of housing issues in the United States.