Health Starts with Housing

This post was written by Megan Smith, our Housing Program Coordinator.
When we talk about supporting the health of survivors of domestic violence, the conversation must include access to housing. Having a safe and stable place to call home provides the foundation for mental and physical well being.  Conversely, housing instability and homelessness, just like domestic violence, are health risks, exacerbate existing health issues and limit access or utilization of routine health care.  In fact, 48% of domestic violence survivors in Oregon choose to remain in abusive relationships, despite the impact on their health and safety, because of a lack of affordable housing options.
Only when housing needs are met can survivors focus on addressing chronic health concerns, the impact of trauma and stress, and preventative health care.  Many survivors in the Housing Assistance Program delay addressing physical and mental health concerns until they have found a stable place to live.  However, affordable housing options are limited and delaying health interventions while seeking housing stability can have  long term consequences for recovery. As advocates, we need to support survivors in prioritizing and accessing healthcare. As as community, we must push our elected leaders to create more affordable and accessible housing options for survivors.  Please join Bradley Angle in supporting the efforts of the Welcome Home Coalition, a broad-based, grassroots effort to address the need for affordable housing in our area.