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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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  • Individual Author: Tessler, Betsy L.; Seith, David; Rucks, Zawadi
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration presents a new approach to helping low-wage and dislocated workers take strategic steps to advance — by increasing their wages or work hours, upgrading their skills, or finding better jobs. At the same time, these workers are encouraged to increase and stabilize their income in the short term by making the most of available work supports, such as food stamps, public health insurance, subsidized child care, and tax credits for eligible low-income families. The WASC program — located mostly in the One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act — is being delivered by integrated teams of workforce and human services professionals in four sites: Dayton, Ohio; San Diego, California; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Fort Worth, Texas. Based on interviews with staff and focus groups with WASC customers, this report presents preliminary information on the effectiveness of strategies that were used to attract people to the WASC program, engage them in services, and keep them engaged over time.

    ...

    The Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration presents a new approach to helping low-wage and dislocated workers take strategic steps to advance — by increasing their wages or work hours, upgrading their skills, or finding better jobs. At the same time, these workers are encouraged to increase and stabilize their income in the short term by making the most of available work supports, such as food stamps, public health insurance, subsidized child care, and tax credits for eligible low-income families. The WASC program — located mostly in the One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act — is being delivered by integrated teams of workforce and human services professionals in four sites: Dayton, Ohio; San Diego, California; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Fort Worth, Texas. Based on interviews with staff and focus groups with WASC customers, this report presents preliminary information on the effectiveness of strategies that were used to attract people to the WASC program, engage them in services, and keep them engaged over time.

    Key Findings:

    • Recruitment of low-wage workers for a voluntary postemployment program must be resourced with sufficient staff and funding to reach and engage people while also having the capacity to immediately begin providing services for those who are enrolled in the program.
    • Advancement programs for low-wage workers should be prepared to help participants get the training necessary to move into a new career. Most WASC participants preferred to leave their jobs and move into a new career rather than seek more hours or a promotion in their current job.

    • Cash incentives may be an effective way to sustain engagement in a postemployment program like WASC and possibly to encourage completion of education or training.

    • Most focus group participants took up the work supports for which they were eligible and appreciated the ease of addressing all work support issues in the same office with staff people with whom they had a relationship.

    • WASC participants most appreciated coaching that combined knowledgeable guidance with a strong rapport. They deeply valued the role of coach as a motivator and a source of encouragement.

    A report describing the complete implementation story — based on additional interviews and survey data — as well as early results of the program will be completed in early 2009. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Miller, Cynthia; Tessler, Betsy; Van Dok, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This report presents first-year impact results from two sites in the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration—San Diego, California and Dayton, Ohio—and implementation findings for those two sites as well as for a third site, Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Only San Diego and Dayton are covered in this Executive Summary.) WASC is an innovative program designed to help low-wage workers advance in the labor market and increase their incomes. It offers services to help workers stay employed, improve their skills, and find higher-paying jobs. It also provides easier access to a range of financial work supports, such as child care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for which workers may be eligible. Finally, a key feature of WASC is that all these services are offered in a single location—the local One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The program was explicitly designed to build the capacity of the workforce development system to serve low-wage workers, and its findings will be of direct relevance to the debate on WIA...

    This report presents first-year impact results from two sites in the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) demonstration—San Diego, California and Dayton, Ohio—and implementation findings for those two sites as well as for a third site, Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Only San Diego and Dayton are covered in this Executive Summary.) WASC is an innovative program designed to help low-wage workers advance in the labor market and increase their incomes. It offers services to help workers stay employed, improve their skills, and find higher-paying jobs. It also provides easier access to a range of financial work supports, such as child care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for which workers may be eligible. Finally, a key feature of WASC is that all these services are offered in a single location—the local One-Stop Career Centers created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. The program was explicitly designed to build the capacity of the workforce development system to serve low-wage workers, and its findings will be of direct relevance to the debate on WIA reauthorization. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Spellman, Brooke; Dunton, Lauren; Brown, Scott; Wood, Michelle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This report presents results from the early implementation of the study of the Impact of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, referred to here as the Family Options Study. The Family Options Study is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to measure the relative impacts of four interventions commonly employed within local communities to help families experiencing homelessness. The study compares the impacts of: community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), project-based transitional housing (PBTH), permanent housing subsidies (SUB), and the usual care (UC) emergency shelter system in 12 communities.

    This interim report describes the baseline characteristics of the families enrolled in the study and the housing and services interventions the families were offered. The report also describes the study’s design and implementation and provides preliminary information about the extent to which families have enrolled in the assigned interventions. A subsequent document (in 2014) will report on the impacts of the four...

    This report presents results from the early implementation of the study of the Impact of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, referred to here as the Family Options Study. The Family Options Study is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to measure the relative impacts of four interventions commonly employed within local communities to help families experiencing homelessness. The study compares the impacts of: community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), project-based transitional housing (PBTH), permanent housing subsidies (SUB), and the usual care (UC) emergency shelter system in 12 communities.

    This interim report describes the baseline characteristics of the families enrolled in the study and the housing and services interventions the families were offered. The report also describes the study’s design and implementation and provides preliminary information about the extent to which families have enrolled in the assigned interventions. A subsequent document (in 2014) will report on the impacts of the four interventions and their relative costs. The impact analysis will use data collected from a survey of families 18 months after random assignment as well as administrative data measuring receipt of HUD assistance and data on returns to shelter from local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS). The 18-month follow-up survey began in July 2012 and will continue through September 2013. The research team will also prepare a series of short issue briefs to discuss additional findings that may be relevant to policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Shinn, Marybeth; Bell, Stephen; Wood, Michelle; Dastrup, Samuel; Solari, Claudia D.; Brown, Scott R.; Brown, Steven; Dunton, Lauren; Lin, Winston; McInnis, Debi; Rodriguez, Jason; Savidge, Galen; Spellman, Brooke E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    This report, titled Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, presents the short-term outcomes of the families enrolled in the Family Options Study, a multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions on homeless families. The report documents how families are faring approximately 20 months after random assignment to one of four interventions: community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), project-based transitional housing (PBTH), permanent housing subsidy (SUB), and usual care (UC). Outcome measures fall within five domains: housing stability; family preservation; adult well-being; child well-being; and self-sufficiency. The collection of extensive cost data for each of the interventions tested enables the calculation of the costs that can be tied to each of the interventions, and in turn, used to understand the cost of achieving the outcomes observed. The study resulted in strong and significant findings, particularly related to the power of offering a voucher to a homeless family...

    This report, titled Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, presents the short-term outcomes of the families enrolled in the Family Options Study, a multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions on homeless families. The report documents how families are faring approximately 20 months after random assignment to one of four interventions: community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), project-based transitional housing (PBTH), permanent housing subsidy (SUB), and usual care (UC). Outcome measures fall within five domains: housing stability; family preservation; adult well-being; child well-being; and self-sufficiency. The collection of extensive cost data for each of the interventions tested enables the calculation of the costs that can be tied to each of the interventions, and in turn, used to understand the cost of achieving the outcomes observed. The study resulted in strong and significant findings, particularly related to the power of offering a voucher to a homeless family. HUD anticipates releasing the "long-term" outcomes of families within the next two years, and these findings will document how families are faring a full three years after random assignment, and how the costs of the different groups of families continue to evolve. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Khadduri, Jill; Walton, Douglas; López, Michael; Burt, Martha R.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This research snapshot describes the experiences of a group of 381 Hispanic families after experiencing homelessness. The snapshot:

    • examines the resilience of Hispanic families 20 months after their stay in a homeless shelter;
    • describes regional variations in families’ resiliency; and
    • discusses how these regional differences mirror or differ from the differences of non-Hispanic families.

    This is the sixth publication in a series 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 collected data on 2,282 homeless families with children in twelve communities across the country. (Author introduction)

    This research snapshot describes the experiences of a group of 381 Hispanic families after experiencing homelessness. The snapshot:

    • examines the resilience of Hispanic families 20 months after their stay in a homeless shelter;
    • describes regional variations in families’ resiliency; and
    • discusses how these regional differences mirror or differ from the differences of non-Hispanic families.

    This is the sixth publication in a series 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 collected data on 2,282 homeless families with children in twelve communities across the country. (Author introduction)

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