As family homelessness in New York City continues to escalate, we need to identify new solutions to move families into permanent housing, and recognize and direct resources to one of the most vulnerable populations among homeless families – domestic violence survivors and their children. We develop and promote solutions that address the need for safe, affordable housing for victims of domestic violence and their children. Our goal is to ensure that homeless housing resources are equitably shared with homeless families fleeing domestic violence.
Our advocacy, often in collaboration with other organizations, has resulted in changes to regulations and additional resources for both domestic violence survivors in the homeless shelter system and those at-risk of becoming homeless.
• In 2006-7 New Destiny developed and implemented a Task Force on Domestic Violence and Permanent Housing to address the challenging gulf between homeless domestic violence survivors and access to affordable housing.
• In October 2007, a year after the Task Force began, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City’s adoption of 7 of 12 Task Force proposals. Two other initiatives to increase permanent housing options for survivors were developed by Sanctuary for Families and New Destiny.
Ten years later, permanent housing remains the most critical unmet need of homeless domestic violence survivors; and family homelessness now accounts for 70% of the individuals in shelter, including over 23,000 children each night.
In 2016 New Destiny, Enterprise Community Partners and Citizen’s Committee for Children co-convened the Family Homelessness Task Force, a group of 40 organizations– service and shelter providers, advocacy and legal services organizations, and housing providers– to focus on the issue of homeless families with children and to begin sourcing ideas for addressing the problem.
In June, 2017 the Task Force held a summit and released a report with recommendations intended to help prevent homelessness, improve the well-being of families and children using homeless shelters, and increase the permanent housing options and post-shelter services for homeless families. A standing Coalition has been created to prioritize homeless families with children on the City’s homelessness agenda.