A recent report calls attention to the need for more temporary housing for victims of domestic violence.
The report, produced by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, was an assessment of needs that could be used for determining the direction of federal funding for housing programs that deal with specifically with victims of intimate partner violence (IPV).
Megan Alderden, one of the authors says, “The impetus for doing this particular report was (that) after conversations about previous analyses were done three years ago indicated that transitional housing was a need that existing in Illinois so we decided we would start looking into this issue as we considered increasing funding in the different areas of victims services. “
Despite housing being a basic need, it probably the most expensive service a social service agency can provide, says another author, Jennifer Hiselman. “So it’s just a hard resource for nonprofit programs to provide, and currently, I want to say in the city of Chicago there are only about 150 beds available in a particular night and the reason … That’s not many when you consider the number of women in domestic violence situations. We also know thousands of people are turned away from shelter every year because there is a lack of bed space.”
According to the report, “A study of 278 female IPV victims found that housing instability was correlated with greater PTSD symptomology and depression and poorer quality of life even after controlling for other factors, such as age, reported alcohol and drug abuse, and perceived risk of lethal or serious injury violence.”