For more audio extras, subscribe to Laura Flanders & Friends on your favorite podcast platform.

The war on women takes many forms — take homelessness for example. Experiencing intimate partner violence places a person at particular risk of homelessness. For those who do manage to escape, it’s confusing and often impossible to get help. What might make a difference? Some are calling for more gender-conscious policy. Organizations across California are coming together to address this issue, break down silos and bring survivors into decision-making. But their work is in danger. This July, VOCA (the federal Victims of Crimes Act), which funds everything from crisis hotlines to transitional housing, is slated to lose 45% of its funding. What can be done? Laura Flanders is joined by Teniecka Drake, a US Air Force veteran, and Yenni Rivera Martinez, two survivors of domestic violence-related homelessness who now work as advocates, and Krista Colón, the Senior Director of Public Policy for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. How does housing policy need to change? And what difference does applying a gender lens make? And later in the show Laura shares some closing thoughts on the cruel punishment case involving a homeless woman that is currently before the Supreme Court.

“The lack of housing for survivors and the struggles of survivors navigating the homelessness system is a commonality shared all across the state. bringing folks together to work on shared solutions . . . They’ve produced tools for survivors . . .” – Krista Colón

“See the person, not just the data. The data is attached to a person. In order to make the proper policies, you need to know who you’re affecting, your constituents. You need to know who they are.” – Teniecka Drake

“You don’t end up with zero, you end up with negative because now you’re borrowing money, especially once you have a baby. How do you get formula? How do you get diapers? How do you get clothing?” – Yenni Rivera Martinez


  • Krista Colón: Senior Director Of Public Policy & Communications Strategies, California Partnership To End Domestic Violence 
  • Teniecka Drake: Survivor Advocates Team, Rainbow Services
  • Yenni Rivera Martinez: Family System CES Coordinator, LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority); Survivor Advocate, California Partnership To End Domestic Violence

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode, “Domestic Violence Survivor & Homeless Too? A CA Cohort Shows What Can Be Done“.

Related Episodes, Articles, Uncut Conversations and More

Follow Laura Flanders & Friends on Patreon to receive our Show Notes every week and the full, uncut conversation from each episode. And check out our full Gender & Sexuality playlist on YouTube