News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

For Domestic Violence Survivors, Family Court Becomes Site of Continued Abuse Three years after Kate and her children initially fled her ex, the judge terminated his visits. By then, Kate had been in court every six weeks for three years and spent over $500,000 in legal costs.

We don’t do sex work because we are poor, we do sex work to end our poverty “Anti- trafficking law does not improve our working conditions, increase our options, or end our poverty. It does not reduce armed conflict in our homelands. It does not reduce corruption. It does not increase support for children and minors. It does not demand governments or society respect us or our basic human rights.”

Michelle Obama on why educating girls is vital “The barriers to girls’ education isn’t just resources. It’s not just about access to scholarships or transportation or school bathrooms,” she said. “It’s also about attitudes and beliefs — the belief that girls simply aren’t worthy of an education, that women should have no role outside the home, that their bodies aren’t their own, their minds don’t really matter and their voices simply shouldn’t be heard.”

Ending homelessness

This was originally posted on the National Alliance to End Homelessness blog.

I’m currently at the National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in Los Angeles, where a lot of creative thinkers are sitting together, learning from each other, and sharing creative solutions to reach the common goal of housing families and youth in the right way and the shortest amount of time.

There seem to be a few points emerging:

  • Shift program-based thinking to systems-based thinking. Systems, and not just programs in isolation, must address issues including the lack of affordable housing, limitation of shelter space, and long waiting lists for public housing. The key is to form inclusive partnerships which employ effective strategies to change the way a homeless assistance system responds to families in crisis.
  • Track and use data to your advantage. Data is the cornerstone of evaluation; without it, we cannot understand the performance of the system and whether the system is meeting the goals of the program.
  • Rapid re-housing/prevention works for the majority of families. It’s not just about housing; it includes wraparound services. The services may be “light touch services” (where someone needs assistance to pay off an old debt) whereas others may need advocacy from beginning to end.

We, as domestic violence advocates, cannot ignore the issues of homeless families, just as housing advocates cannot ignore the fact that domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as domestic sex trafficking, impacts the ability to gain and retain safe and stable housing.

I am extremely energized by the positivity and creativity, as well as the commitment that everyone has to end homelessness on a national level. Thank you, National Alliance to End Homelessness for hosting this conference.