Common Ground, Complementary Approaches: Adapting the Housing First Model for Domestic Violence Survivors


The Housing First model has been shown to be a highly effective approach to achieving permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals with serious mental illness and chemical dependency. There are numerous components of the model that lend themselves toward achieving similar goals for homeless domestic violence (DV) survivors and their children. A leading cause of homelessness for women, many of whom are mothers, is DV. This article describes the commonalities between the Housing First model and the tenets of DV victim advocacy work and explores how Housing First can be adapted to effectively achieve safe and stable housing for DV survivors and their children. Preliminary evidence for the adapted model – termed Domestic Violence Housing First – is provided, and policy implications are discussed.

Creation Date