DASH is excited to announce its newest innovative safe housing program, Right to Dream.
In 2020, DASH was awarded a grant from the DC Department of Human Services to launch a new program for transitioning youth (aged 18-24 years) who are survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence and are experiencing housing instability or homelessness. Like all of DASH’s survivor-centered programs, it is low-barrier, voluntary, and trauma-informed.
Transitioning youth have the highest risk of being victims of domestic and/or sexual violence compared to all other age brackets. In Washington DC, domestic violence is the biggest driver of homelessness or housing instability for this age group. Vulnerable populations in this phase of life, such as LGBTQ youth, are at even greater risk.
Right to Dream will expand the availability of youth-friendly, survivor-focused, long-term transitional housing and services.
Participants will be provided with resources to do more than just survive, enabling them to grow, achieve their own goals, and move toward independent lives.
Through Right to Dream, 20 transitioning youth survivors will receive wraparound supports and housing assistance for up to two years. They will be partnered with a DASH advocate who will help them find and set up their new home in the DC Metro area, check in with them regularly, and help them develop a plan for their safety. DASH advocates will support participants to identify their long-term goals and help them eliminate the barriers to achievement, helping them gain the skills, knowledge and supports to be confident adults who break the cycle of power and control their abusers forced on them.
Right to Dream participants will have access to educational opportunities, job training, and career planning as well as a range of other community-based supports to help them recover from their trauma and become empowered. The goal at the end of the program is for each participant to be economically secure and able to maintain the lease on their own or, if they choose, to move to a similar lease, and transition to self-sufficient adulthood.
Right to Dream participants will have access to:
- Support from a DASH advocate to find a safe apartment and set up their new home
- Intensive advocacy including crisis support, weekly check-ins, and support to develop the life skills they need to live independently
- Wraparound services, including mental health and/or substance abuse
- Education, job training, and career planning to achieve economic empowerment
- Flexible funding to support achievement of their goals
This program is about more than just providing safe housing. For many of these young people, the support DASH provides will help break intergenerational cycles of abuse and enable them to build lives free of violence.
Right to Dream will:
As we grow Right to Dream, we are looking to expand our partnerships in the community to help us provide participants with more opportunities, including education and job training. If you are interested in partnering with us, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also recruiting more landlords and property managers to partner with DASH and provide housing through Right to Dream. Again, let us know if you can help by emailing email@example.com.
There are also a number of other ways you can get involved and support Right to Dream.