This document provides a summary of the final report on findings from the Domestic Violence Housing First model evaluation project, it provides key findings of the evaluation, background information including the three pillars of the model, primary and exploratory research questions asked by the evaluation project, programs and study methodology, a description of participants as they entered the program, evaluation findings, and implications.
The objective of this Domestic Violence Housing First demonstration evaluation is to increase knowledge about housing and advocacy interventions for survivors of domestic violence (DV) and their children, by examining the impact of housing-related advocacy and flexible funding on the lives of DV survivors, and their children, over time. For this demonstration evaluation of the DVHF model, more than 400 DV survivors who were also homeless or unstably housed participated in a quasi-experimental, longitudinal evaluation study that followed them over two years after they sought services from one of five participating DV agencies. Key findings showed that unstably housed domestic violence survivors who received the DVHF model reported a number of positive changes at six, 12, 18, and 24 months after seeking services; the DVHF model is more effective than services as usual (SAU) in helping survivors achieve housing stability, safety, and improved mental health over 24 months; survivors who received DVHF reported higher pro-social behaviors from their children compared to those who received SAU. Positive changes happened quickly, within the first six months after seeking services, and persisted throughout the 24-month duration. The authors also report that the DVHF model does not appear to be more effective than SAU in increasing financial stability or quality of life, or reducing substance misuse, and it showed no impact on children’s school attendance, performance, or behavioral problems.