img 317-923-5750
img 604 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205
  • Follow us:
  • RSS

  • LinkedIn

Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry
17th Feb


Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry - Interview with Coburn Place Safe Haven

Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry

Rapid Rehousing helps survivors escape interpersonal abuse by providing them with a safe, permanent housing solution with advocate support and short-term rental assistance. The model gives survivors the chance to gain self-sufficiency while having a place to call home. Coburn Place recently partnered with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) to help implement Rapid Rehousing programs throughout greater Indiana.


Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry - Interview with Coburn Place Safe HavenIn the following conversation, Laura Berry discusses the Rapid Rehousing partnership between ICADV and Coburn Place. Laura has been ICADV’s Executive Director for 26 years, overseeing all initiatives and projects while managing a staff of 14 employees. 


What is ICADV’s role in Indiana?

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has been in operation since 1980, with the five-fold mission of supporting and overseeing member agencies, offering primary prevention, educating and training advocates, providing legal counsel, and creating public awareness. 


How much do you rely on other domestic violence programs, like Coburn Place, to help you with your workload?

Partnerships are the key to everything for us in order to get anything accomplished. We have 14 staff members and then about 75 contracted attorneys around the state. So virtually everything we do is a partnership. 


Last year, Indiana’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) group generously awarded ICADV with funds to be spent on strengthening domestic violence programs in the state. How did you determine how to allocate those HUD funds?

Prior to being awarded HUD funds, we embarked on a three year comprehensive needs assessment of survivors around the state called the Re-Centering Report. Through that, we intentionally looked at communities that were marginalized and talked to them about their needs. The number one takeaway that came out of this assessment was that survivors needed safe, affordable, and stable housing and a social safety net in order to succeed. Which moved us in the direction of allocating funds into three project categories — coordinated entry, rapid rehousing, and transitional housing. We chose to use those awarded funds to strengthen those three categories.

Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry - Interview with Coburn Place Safe Haven

How did ICADV select Coburn Place for this partnership for training greater Indiana about Rapid Rehousing?

Coburn Place has been instrumental in creating a replicable model around their transitional housing and the Rapid Rehousing systems and combining them with flex funding dollars in order to meet the criteria of safe housing and creating a social safety net that survivors have said is critical. So Coburn Place quickly became the ideal partner to help us train other domestic violence programs. And it didn’t take long for them to understand how this project could work for them to meet the needs of survivors.


What will this greater Indiana Rapid Rehousing Model program look like in 2020?

Coburn Place’s acclaimed Rapid Rehousing Model includes taking survivors immediately from an emergency shelter or from homeless status and moving them into housing on their own, which include support services that go along with that. 

For our Rapid Rehousing partnership, ICADV has engaged Coburn Place to help build-up, and create a pilot project with other domestic violence service providers throughout the state, to help train them to understand what Rapid Rehousing models can look like in their area. They will go to previously marginalized areas of Indiana and train those member programs to also offer Rapid Rehousing opportunities. The project scope of work also includes adding 100 new beds with supported services, hiring two new case managers, and administrative staff. 


Do you have a timeline and strategy for this project with Coburn Place?

Yes, our partnership started December 1, and will go until November 30, 2020, with the option to partner again for a second year after that. But Coburn Place aims to teach, so I know the ultimate goal with this project is to train up our sister programs in southwest Indiana and in other areas of the state. 

For this project, we’ve determined to support and build out three Rapid Rehousing programs in southwest Indiana — Hope’s Voice in Vincennes, and Crisis Connection in Jasper, and then Albion Fellows Bacon Center in Evansville.


Rapid Rehousing Indiana: A Conversation with Laura Berry - Interview with Coburn Place Safe Haven

Is this project exciting for you?

Really exciting to me, because it’s the number one barrier that keeps survivors from being in a violent situation — that safe, affordable and stable housing. It’s just not an option for them, and if they had that and a financial safety net, then they would be able to live not in that situation. And so, having that opportunity to impact that situation is exciting. Not to mention their outcome.

There’s studies that have been done, the Gates Foundation, did a study in partnership with our Washington State coalition on a Housing First initiative that has shown really outstanding outcomes from this type of model. All the positive social and structural determinants that come out of these projects are really incredibly rewarding. 

We see it as housing as a basic human right. It is really exciting that for once we have the money and the availability to provide what is a basic human right. 


Thank you for your time, Laura. We’re happy to partner with ICADV to help more people throughout greater Indiana by providing other domestic violence programs with the training and support they need.

Share This :