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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Brown, Scott R.; Shinn, Marybeth; Khadduri, Jill
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief examines the well-being of young children 20 months after staying in emergency homeless shelters with their families.

    Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study, the brief explores young children’s:

    •pre-reading skills

    •pre-math skills

    •developmental delays

    •behavior challenges

    It draws comparisons between children who experienced homelessness and national norms for children of the same age.

    The brief also examines housing instability, child care instability, and enrollment in center-based care and Head Start, and associations between housing and child care stability and child well-being. (Author abstract)

    This brief examines the well-being of young children 20 months after staying in emergency homeless shelters with their families.

    Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study, the brief explores young children’s:

    •pre-reading skills

    •pre-math skills

    •developmental delays

    •behavior challenges

    It draws comparisons between children who experienced homelessness and national norms for children of the same age.

    The brief also examines housing instability, child care instability, and enrollment in center-based care and Head Start, and associations between housing and child care stability and child well-being. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Arkin, Monica; Abdi, Fadumo
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Monica Arkin & Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Family homelessness is pervasive across the United States. During the 2012-2013 school year alone roughly one in every 39, or approximately 1.25 million children experienced homelessness. Based on recent demographic trends the typical homeless family consists of a young single mother with one or two young children who live “doubled up” in another family’s household. Factors commonly associated with family homelessness are domestic violence, persistent poverty, unemployment, lack of health...

    Posted by Monica Arkin & Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Family homelessness is pervasive across the United States. During the 2012-2013 school year alone roughly one in every 39, or approximately 1.25 million children experienced homelessness. Based on recent demographic trends the typical homeless family consists of a young single mother with one or two young children who live “doubled up” in another family’s household. Factors commonly associated with family homelessness are domestic violence, persistent poverty, unemployment, lack of health insurance, and insufficient aid from mainstream benefit programs. Minority families face additional risks for experiencing homelessness, such as institutionalized discrimination and multi-generational poverty, which are linked to disparities in employment, education, and access to quality housing. 
     

    While housing programs and models have been in existence and researched for many years, most have shown only short-term residential stability for families. Rapid rehousing, for example, has been used frequently as an intervention, but there is little evidence of its efficacy in providing long-term residential stability for families. Similarly, the use of permanent housing subsidies has shown promising results in short-term evaluations, but research highlighting long-term findings is not yet available.

    To affect lasting change, programs must recognize and address the multiple causes of homelessness, as well as the numerous barriers to becoming self-sufficient faced by homeless families. For some families, homelessness is episodic and can be solved with housing assistance alone. However, families may experience several types of long-term homelessness including chronic homelessness. This occurs when the family has been either homeless for over one year, or on four occasions within the three previous years, and the head of household has a disability, such as a serious mental illness, substance abuse, or developmental or physical disability that impairs self-sufficiency. Long-term homeless families, on the other hand, do not necessarily have a head of household with a disability, but have been homeless for over one year or on multiple occasions within the previous year. Long-term homelessness for these families is typically associated with multiple risk factors and cannot always be solved with housing alone. A report by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) on homeless families in New York City indicated common reasons that families became eligible for shelter were unemployment (over half of the families did not have a single employed household member), domestic violence (accounting for 26 percent of families who went to shelter), and family discord (accounting for 12 percent of families moving to shelter).

    Recently, there has been a shift toward a more holistic approach, supplementing housing assistance with other support services. One promising method is called Supportive Housing, which provides affordable housing along with intensive wrap-around services. Supportive housing services acknowledge that housing alone may not prevent homelessness by promoting self-sufficiency and family cohesion, often providing addiction recovery, education, and employment services. Keeping Families Together, a pilot initiative between 2007 and 2010, implemented a supportive housing approach in New York City with families that had been homeless for at least a year and had been involved with the child welfare system. The pilot showed many positive outcomes: child welfare involvement declined significantly among participating families, most families had no new abuse or neglect cases after receiving supportive housing, average school attendance improved, and six children were reunited with their families from foster care. 

    The positive findings from Keeping Families Together led policymakers to launch a federally funded demonstration grant to test the supportive housing model on a wider scale, understand the efficacy of the model, inform strategic use of limited resources, and measure return on investment. The Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing in the Child Welfare Systems multi-site demonstration launched in 2012 as a five-year program awarding four local and one statewide supportive housing pilot sites. Data is currently being collected for the national evaluation. Long-term findings from the multisite demonstration may add important longitudinal evidence to the efficacy of supportive housing in various communities across the nation.  

     
    The SSRC Library contains numerous reports and stakeholder resources about family homelessness, including:
    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.
  • Individual Author: Abdi, Fadumo
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Housing First is a consumer-driven approach to addressing homelessness that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing additional support services as needed. This immediate focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent housing solutions is what differentiates the approach from other homelessness strategies. The primary focus on securing stable and permanent housing first is consistent with what...

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Housing First is a consumer-driven approach to addressing homelessness that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing additional support services as needed. This immediate focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent housing solutions is what differentiates the approach from other homelessness strategies. The primary focus on securing stable and permanent housing first is consistent with what individuals and families experiencing homelessness want to achieve when they initially seek services.

    Programs modeled from the Housing First approach share critical elements, including:

    • A focus on helping individuals and families access permanent rental housing as quickly as possible;
    • A variety of supportive services are delivered to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed and entirely voluntary basis; and
    • A standard lease agreement to housing – as opposed to mandated services compliance.

    For example, Pathways to Housing, the first Housing First program of its kind, was designed to end homelessness and support recovery for individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities and co-occurring substance use disorders by emphasizing consumer choice, psychiatric rehabilitation, and harm reduction. The program addresses homeless individuals’ needs from a consumer perspective which encourages consumers to define their own needs and set clear recovery goals coupled with intensive case management services to provide access to identified services without prerequisites for psychiatric treatment or sobriety. The consumer-centered approach highlighted in Pathways to Housing and other Housing First models is in contrast to other housing assistance models that condition the provision of housing based on participation and compliance with behavioral health, substance treatment, and/or work training program requirements. Other target populations served through the Housing First approach have included homeless families who are experiencing persistent poverty, unemployment, child welfare involvement, or domestic violence.

    Unlike its predecessors, Housing First assumes stable housing must be established before an individual can begin to work toward improving their mental health, financial stability, and self-sufficiency. Research has found that by providing homeless people with immediate housing without prerequisites of participation in treatment services, they were more likely to stay housed for longer and less likely to return to homelessness. Similarly, giving clients the choice of which supportive services they need has also been found to result in reduced psychiatric symptoms and substance use among participants.

    Consistent with the consumer choice perspective that underscores the Housing First approach, there is some variability in the supportive services programming offered to clients even when focusing on the same sub-population. For example, a 12-month evaluation of three programs using Housing First approach to serve homeless individuals with mental illnesses found that clients of all three programs demonstrated positive outcomes relative to sustained housing, increased earnings, and improved symptoms, but varied in terms of housing tenure and support services offered. Programs outlined in the study utilized several successful strategies for the delivery of services including housing-based case managers or daily home visits by coordinators available on a 24/7 basis. Housing inventory also varied by program with some scattering properties among available private apartments and housing facilities stock while other programs solely own properties used for program participants. The ways in which the three programs implemented the Housing First model presented unique success and challenges. For example, the program which owns the housing units is able to provide more client supervision, but this can limit client integration into the broader community. Although each program took different approaches to implementation, each ultimately achieved positive outcomes for the individuals served.

    As more research is conducted on the effects of the Housing First approach, findings suggest programs that adhere to the Housing First’s core elements of unconditional, immediate housing and choice of services demonstrate positive outcomes. With a growing recognition of the Housing First approach some practitioners have begun to describe it as a whole-system orientation and response to the problem of homelessness. This holistic orientation is influencing how communities across the country respond to the persistent challenges posed by homelessness particularly among those with complex needs. For example, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has funded a study to assess the effects of five programs using the Housing First model for high need families. The evaluation targets families in the child welfare system struggling with substance use, mental health issues, and unstable housing. Through the study, the program hopes to determine its ability to provide trauma-informed care, develop working relationships with local housing agencies, and capacity to connect families to community resources. Continued research and practice evidence will serve as helpful resource guides and implementation toolkits for the future as more communities implement a Housing First approach to address the myriad challenges of homeless individuals and families with the greatest needs.

    Learn more about the Housing First model in the SSRC Library:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to the SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.

  • Individual Author: Baldari, Cara
    Reference Type:
    Year: 2017

    Homelessness jeopardizes the health and well-being of record numbers of children and youth, putting future generations at risk of adult homelessness. Communities need to be able to use HUD Homeless Assistance funding more flexibly, effectively, and appropriately to meet the needs of children, youth, and families The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017 restores local decision-making and improves the ability of communities to meet the unique developmental needs of homeless children, youth, and families, which is the best long-term strategy to reduce all forms of homelessness. (Author introduction)

    Homelessness jeopardizes the health and well-being of record numbers of children and youth, putting future generations at risk of adult homelessness. Communities need to be able to use HUD Homeless Assistance funding more flexibly, effectively, and appropriately to meet the needs of children, youth, and families The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017 restores local decision-making and improves the ability of communities to meet the unique developmental needs of homeless children, youth, and families, which is the best long-term strategy to reduce all forms of homelessness. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Walton, Douglas; Dunton, Lauren; Groves, Lincoln
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This brief explores child and partner separations among families experiencing homelessness.

    Additionally, the brief examines:

    • family separations and reunifications in the 20 months after being in emergency shelter and;

    • the association between family separation and recent housing instability following the initial shelter stay.

    This is the fourth in a series of research briefs sponsored by OPRE and ASPE that draws on data collected as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study. The Family Options Study has data on 2,282 homeless families with children in twelve communities across the country. (Author abstract)

    This brief explores child and partner separations among families experiencing homelessness.

    Additionally, the brief examines:

    • family separations and reunifications in the 20 months after being in emergency shelter and;

    • the association between family separation and recent housing instability following the initial shelter stay.

    This is the fourth in a series of research briefs sponsored by OPRE and ASPE that draws on data collected as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study. The Family Options Study has data on 2,282 homeless families with children in twelve communities across the country. (Author abstract)

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