One clear message from the Alliance’s blog post series on the 2021 NOFO is the importance of being strategic with how you use resources. Focus on the needs and gaps within your own system. Consider also the priorities laid out in the 2021 HUD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): advance racial equity, elevate the voices of those with lived experience, adhere to a Housing First approach, address unsheltered homelessness, focus on improving your system performance, and leverage partnerships to ensure you are advancing progress for all people experiencing homelessness.

This advice also holds true when considering how to make the most effective use of the Domestic Violence Bonus Funds outlined in the 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

This year, HUD will award approximately $100 million to CoCs applying for the Domestic Violence Bonus Funds as part of their NOFO application. These funds can be used for the following purposes:

  • Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors
  • Transitional Housing/Rapid Re-Housing Joint Component
  • SSO Project for Coordinated Entry

System leaders should assess gaps in your system before identifying possible bonus projects. Leaders should also be prepared to build the case of how the proposed investment of funds will improve overall system performance, improve the safety and housing outcomes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking survivors, and advance the policy priorities identified by HUD to end homelessness. This post outlines some considerations for system leaders when assessing the most impactful use of funds.

What are Your System’s Unmet Needs?

A first step in determining the best use of funds is to consider the unmet needs of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking within your existing homeless service system and beyond it. This involves assessing the resources available to assist survivors back into housing, including survivors in homeless service programs as well as those served in partnering agencies outside the homeless service system. It should also involve assessing how well homeless service programs and systems are coordinating with organizations assisting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Read the full article about serving survivors by Sharon McDonald, Debbie Fox, and Monica McLaughlin at National Alliance to End Homelessness.