Domestic Violence and Homelessness

According to the Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness, U.S. Conference of Mayors (2012), domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families in the United States. Research shows that housing is one of the main needs identified by survivors at the time of shelter entry.

Domestic violence is devastating and costly for the families we serve as well as for the local communities striving to help anyone in crisis. The experiences of domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness can seriously disrupt the well-being of a family including their connections to community support.

ACF has an important role in helping families struggling with domestic violence. The toll of domestic violence on a child’s wellbeing is life changing; unfortunately, children who witness domestic violence in their homes often experience other adverse childhood events, increasing the risk of subsequent health and behavioral difficulties.

The most meaningful steps that state and Federal program administrators can take to address domestic violence include ensuring that all health and human service providers have the capacity to:

  • Recognize the impact of domestic violence;
  • Respond effectively with trauma-informed strategies; and
  • Safely link families to domestic violence services.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funds life-saving domestic violence shelter and other support services in states, territories and Tribes. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA Program) in the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) administers these funds. One of our primary goals is to engage with federal agencies to address domestic violence which cuts across so many program areas.  

The FVPSA Program co-chairs the Domestic Violence Subcommittee of the Ending Homelessness Interagency Work Group, along with the Office of Violence against Women in the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Domestic Violence Subcommittee brings together federal agencies to focus on the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness. The group is committed to coordinating training and technical assistance for HUD, OVW and FVPSA grantees on this issue including:

We are also proud to share that the FVPSA Program’s technical assistance center, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, compiles and develops relevant resources such as white papers and case studies that can be found in the resources section on the FVPSA website and through the national online clearinghouse on violence against women, Visit disclaimer page .

For Immediate Help

If you are in danger or need a place to stay, please call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit Visit disclaimer page to connect to a DV shelter or program in your area.

Additional Resources

For more information on the homelessness and domestic violence, we recommend the following resources.



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