Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Social Services

Domestic Violence Training for Homeless Shelter Staff


Domestic violence is a major cause of homelessness, particularly for families with children and of those receiving social services. National research shows that 50%-60% of current social services recipients have experienced some form of violent behavior from their current or former intimate partners.  The absence of cash assistance provided by social services, can cause a victim to either return to their abusive partner or become homeless. (insert footer reference here) The provision of safe emergency shelter is a necessary first step in meeting the needs of victims fleeing domestic violence. Staff training is an important part of enhancing the homeless shelters' response to families affected by domestic violence.

New Curriculum

The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), under contract with the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, has been conducting training for homeless shelter staff since 2001. The new curriculum offers participants the opportunity to interact in the classroom through experiential learning. They do so by participating in an exercise that allows them to "walk in the shoes" of a domestic violence survivor who is navigating the system to find support and safety for her children and herself. The development of the curriculum was informed in part by the following:

Training Description

Contact Information:

  1. National Coalition for the Homeless,, July, 2009