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Did you know that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in Iowa?


Survivors of intimate partner violence face unique barriers to shelter and affordable housing as a direct result of the violence they have experienced, including but not limited to:


  • A lack of safe, affordable housing. This is identified as the #1 barrier to safety and self-determination for survivors.

  • Poor credit and rental history. as a direct result of a person who harms – impacting a survivor’s ability to pass a
    background check.

  • Lack of steady employment and/or opportunities due to forced missed/sick days or stalking, and harassment occurs at a survivor’s place of employment.

  • Housing discrimination occurs when a landlord evicts a survivor for repeated calls to law enforcement or property damage due to the violence.

  • Simply put – there are not enough resources available. According to the 15th Annual NNEDV One Day Census Count,
    14 percent of the UNMET requests for survivor services in ONE day in Iowa were for housing.


These barriers are particularly true for survivors who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), living in poverty; disabled; and from other marginalized communities with the least access to resources and safety.

This is why our Housing and Economic Justice team is committed to providing training, technical assistance and resources to victim service programs, homeless providers and the community related to the importance of sheltering and housing survivors of intimate partner violence. This includes but is not limited to: best practices for transitional housing and emergency shelter, housing protections for survivors, and Iowa’s nationally-recognized Housing First Model of service delivery. 



In 2013, the Crime Victims Assistance Division (CVAD) worked with collaborative partners, including ICADV and other victim service providers across the state, to re-imagine what services should look like in Iowa for victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes. As a result, the Housing First Model, a nationally recognized and first of its kind, was created to access and stabilize safe housing as a priority.


After a survivor establishes safe housing, comprehensive support services, advocacy and other resources are identified by a survivor to help them remain safe and the ability to thrive. These services include but are not limited to:


  • Assistance with protective orders

  • Transportation

  • Counseling services

  • Financial empowerment courses


The Housing First Model incorporates various forms of housing such as:


  • 24/7 emergency shelter

  • safe homes

  • hotel/motel short term/extended stays

  • transitional housing


Since Iowa incorporated the Housing First Model, 46% more survivors of domestic violence have been served through our network of statewide victim service providers.


Click here to learn more about the Housing First Model (information on pgs. 18-19).


To learn more about our Housing and Economic Justice Program and connect with our team,
contact Zeb Beilke-McCallum at 515.244.8028.

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Housing Resources to Support Survivors​

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