I live in one of the most affluent counties in the U.S. The lights are on at the local domestic violence shelter, but nobody’s home. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear at a Thursday morning breakfast meeting on homelessness that 80% of the homeless in our county are survivors of domestic violence.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss pioneering ideas on linking employment and housing resources. Since 80% of the homeless are DV survivors, I was shocked to hear that the jobs being created by the agency serving these women were in traditionally male careers: construction and landscaping.
Futures without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund) has compiled statistics linking domestic violence and homelessness.
39% of cities reported that in 2007 domestic violence was the primary reason families with children became homeless (pages 11-12; chart 2.1). In 2008, they reported that 48% of homelessness was caused by domestic violence and family disputes (page 19; chart 2.7).
The National Network to End Domestic Violence reported that on September 15, 2011 domestic violence was the reason 67,399 adults and children needed to find a safe place to live. (Click on the link to the press release to access the data from the 2011 Domestic Violence Counts report.)