The Picture of Texas
The Need – Housing & Homelessness
90.1% of survivors interviewed in Texas were homeless one or more times due to domestic violence.
Access to safer, affordable housing stands as one of the top needs identified by survivors, advocates, and other allied professionals through every phase of the Texas State Plan. For many survivors, the choices in front of them leave no good option – staying in an abusive relationship or fleeing to homelessness. Survivors and family violence program staff consistently discussed the lack of affordable, safe, permanent housing as a significant barrier, regardless of location within the state. This barrier was often exacerbated by the relatively short duration of service length in shelter and in other non-shelter housing programs. Further, lifetime experiences of homelessness are significantly correlated to increased Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), showing that the repercussions affect the health and wellness of survivors.
When services are available, they do not begin to meet the needs. The State Plan showed that in 47% of programs with project-based or scattered-site transitional housing, six or more survivors are wait-listed or turned down for housing every month due to lack of available units and 55% of agencies with rapid re-housing programs wait-list or turn down six or more survivors every month due to capacity.
Future of Texas – Housing and Homelessness
To create the safer Texas we all envision for survivors of family violence, funds must be dedicated to support housing, both offered by family violence centers as well as by allied partners. As a state, Texas must look at (1) homelessness prevention, (2) length of stay at emergency shelter and within other housing programs, and (3) the concept of determining the best housing assistance based on each survivor’s unique needs. If 65% of programs indicated in the State Plan that more affordable housing options are the most pressing need, then Texas must look to fund housing stability, housing navigators, and direct client assistance for housing and related costs.
“I don’t know where I am going to go when the time runs out. I don’t know where I am going to live…”