Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Cloudburst’s inaugural newsletter from our Gender-Based Violence (GBV) practice area, launched this past October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Cloudburst is a mission-driven, women-owned small business focused on empowering communities to build social, economic, and environmental resilience. Our GBV practice area harnesses our deep expertise in housing, global development, environment and climate resiliency, and public health to advance equitable, survivor-centered solutions for the prevention and response to GBV.  This work is aligned with our mission and is grounded in our belief that practical, innovative, and equitable GBV solutions to help nonprofits and government and non-governmental entities must include and be informed by survivors themselves. 

Learn more about our GBV services, including evaluation and program implementation support, capacity-building, training support, and technical assistance.

Promoting Safe Housing Access for Survivors Through the Violence Against Women Act 

Cloudburst is educating U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding recipients, GBV and housing advocates, and other stakeholders on the housing protections in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

Helping HUD’s National Fair Housing Training Academy to Launch VAWA Forums

Cloudburst is supporting the National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA) to launch forums on the housing protections afforded to survivors under VAWA. The first forum, titled Understanding Survivors' Experiences, took place on October 19, 2022 and featured survivors and GBV movement leaders discussing the dynamics of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking using an intersectional lens; the unique needs of those experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and how to support survivors. 

The next forum is scheduled for January 18, 2023 from 2pm–4pm EST and will familiarize participants with VAWA's legal protections in housing for survivors. Attendees will be better informed and equipped to work with and for survivors and to share knowledge and resources with others in their organizations and agencies. Registration for this forum is now live. 

Educating HUD Grantees on the New Right to Report Crime and Emergencies From One’s Home Provision (34 U.S.C. 12495)

Included in the 2022 reauthorization of VAWA is the new Right to Report Crime and Emergencies From One’s Home provision (34 U.S.C. 12495), or “Right to Report” law. This new law addresses the discriminatory practice of penalizing survivors and other individuals, including tenants, applicants, guests, and landlords, who seek law enforcement or emergency assistance for protection. In September, Cloudburst developed a training and fact sheet on this new law for HUD grantees. The training highlights how unlawful local nuisance ordinances and “crime free” programs can penalize a survivor and/or someone with disabilities for reporting crimes, and the additional requirements within this law for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to identify and report non-compliant laws and ordinances. 

Find more information about how unlawful nuisance ordinances and “crime free” ordinances impact survivors at the National Housing Law Project website. 

Increasing Housing Options for Survivors 

Cloudburst is helping to ensure HUD resources are utilized to effectively address survivors’ housing needs; for example, creating safe and confidential access to homeless services through HUD’s Continuums of Care (CoC) and considering survivors’ needs in the HOME Investment Partnerships American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) program allocation planning.

Supporting Survivor Access to Homeless Services Through CoCs 

Cloudburst is: 
  • Promoting effective implementation of the HUD CoC Domestic Violence Bonus funding to establish projects that serve households fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. 
  • Helping CoCs engage new, grassroots, culturally specific victim service providers through capacity-building and thoughtful onboarding to provide safe housing for survivors. 
  • Training communities on promising practices, facilitating learning opportunities with national subject matter experts, and coordinating cross-jurisdictional peer exchanges. 
  • Partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to ensure CoC and victim service provider (VSP) policies and procedures are in compliance with VAWA to provide survivor confidentiality.

Incorporating Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking Survivor Needs in HOME-ARP Planning

HOME-ARP provides $5 billion of supplemental HOME funds to assist individuals or households who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable populations by providing housing, rental assistance, supportive services, and non-congregate shelter. These funds are awarded to participating jurisdictions (PJs), that include states and local governments and can support people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.

Cloudburst is working with several local communities across the country to develop their plans for allocating their HOME-ARP funds and consider survivors’ needs. By engaging VSPs in the planning process through consultations and organizational surveys, analyzing prevalence data and victim service program data, and utilizing interviews with advocates, the full breadth of survivor needs is reflected in the assessment and planning of these historic HOME-ARP funds. Our team also provides PJs with a range of safe housing models and promising practices to consider in developing their approach.   

Amplifying Women’s Voices and Promoting Evidence-Based Strategies to Address GBV 

In 2022, our Global Development team executed an impact evaluation examining the effects of a land titling program on perceptions of land tenure security and conflict in Burkina Faso. To make women’s experiences visible, our team included a survey module completed privately and exclusively by the wives of male heads of households. This design gave women an opportunity to express their opinions on tenure security, conflict, and household decision-making, and facilitated a more nuanced understanding of program outcomes for women. The evaluation found that the project and its theory of change did not explicitly account for, or seek to change, the deeply embedded social norms enforcing the domination of land governance by men. 

Cloudburst recently worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on a literature and evidence review regarding barriers to women's political participation and leadership globally, as well as an evidence review on women's participation in accountable political systems at the local level for USAID/Kosovo. These reviews identify both best practices and knowledge gaps, which will help USAID guide resources more effectively toward programming and research initiatives that will contribute to closing the gender gap in political participation. (Inset: a woman works on land titling in Burkina Faso.)

Providing Grants Management Support for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Family Violence Prevention Services Act Program 

In 2021 and 2022, Cloudburst and Potomac Haven provided U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration of Children and Families (ACF) Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) program with grants management and data analysis services to support the implementation of $1 billion dollars in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to FVPSA grantees to strengthen sexual assault and culturally specific GBV programs. Check out the FVPSA Learning Portal to see the grants management tools and resources the Cloudburst GBV team helped create. 

Cloudburst Partners with NNEDV

Each newsletter will feature a valued partner: in this edition, we recognize Debbie Fox (dfox) from the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), who brings deep expertise on how homeless and GBV programs can effectively meet VAWA and HUD reporting requirements. VAWA and FVPSA contain strong confidentiality provisions that limit the sharing of victims' personally identifying information, including entering information into public records and databases such as Homeless Management Information Systems utilized by HUD CoCs. Sometimes communities see this as a limitation, and as a result, the homeless and victim service systems operate in silos and survivors are unable to access the full range of housing options. 

Dfox co-facilitated a community training with Cloudburst to clarify VAWA and HUD requirements and share evidence-based models and national best practices to inform their program development. Often, these challenges across the homeless/housing and victim service sectors feel very specific to the communities wrestling with them, but dfox encourages collaboration and partnerships  that can bring about creative safe housing solutions for survivors while maintaining data confidentiality. 

Dfox has worked in the domestic and sexual violence movement for over 30 years with a focus on domestic violence population-specific housing and economic justice programming. In her role, dfox works tirelessly with the state domestic violence coalitions and national GBV organizations to advocate for survivor safety and housing options. Cloudburst is grateful to have dfox and NNEDV as a trusted partner in our work supporting communities to create safe housing access for survivors.

Are You Seeking to Effectively Address Gender-Based Violence in Your work? Let Cloudburst Help You Ensure That Your Approach Is Survivor-Informed and Equity-Centered

Select examples of the wide range of ways we can support your efforts to effectively meet the needs of GBV survivors include:

  • Translating federal regulations and policies, such as VAWA, FVPSA and HUD, to support GBV grantee compliance with federal funder requirements.
  • Evaluating and assessing GBV service systems, providing recommendations and conducting strategic planning informed by survivor experiences and promising practice research.
  • Conducting gender equality and social inclusion assessments and evaluations to ensure global program improvements take into account the experience of women and girls.
  • Providing training and technical assistance on safe housing models and services, survivor guided planning efforts, regulatory guidance and compliance, program design and implementation, and partnering across service systems and coordinating systems of care.

If you have any questions or would like to to discuss how we can support your work, please feel free to contact Cloudburst President Michelle Hayes at

Get Connected!

We hope you'll join the conversation on social media. The Cloudburst Group website includes more information on our services and lists opportunities for employment or consulting where we encourage applicants with lived experience and/or direct experience with grant programs to apply

To connect with Cloudburst, request support for your local efforts, or share a request for proposals, please email us at 

Share this newsletter and encourage interested colleagues to sign up for this email list at
Copyright © 2023 The Cloudburst Group, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp