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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 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: United States Conference of Mayors
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This report presents the results of a survey of 25 of the cities whose mayors serve on The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Officials were asked to provide information on the extent and causes of hunger and homelessness in their cities, and the emergency food assistance and homeless services provided, between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013. They also were asked for their assessment of the demand for services and the resources available to them in the year ahead. This year’s survey found continuing increases in demand for services and continuing shortfalls in meeting service needs. (author abstract)

    This report presents the results of a survey of 25 of the cities whose mayors serve on The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Officials were asked to provide information on the extent and causes of hunger and homelessness in their cities, and the emergency food assistance and homeless services provided, between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013. They also were asked for their assessment of the demand for services and the resources available to them in the year ahead. This year’s survey found continuing increases in demand for services and continuing shortfalls in meeting service needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burt, Martha R.; Khadduri, Jill; Gubits, Daniel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This brief examines whether families experiencing homelessness are connected to the benefits and services of the social safety net. We found that – while participation rates varied by program – for most safety net programs, homeless families in our sample reported rates of participation greater than or equal to those of other deeply poor families.

    This research brief takes advantage of data collected for the Family Options Study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    This is the first in a series of research briefs that will draw on data from the Family Options Study to answer questions about family homelessness that are of interest and relevance to HHS and ACF. (author abstract)

    This brief examines whether families experiencing homelessness are connected to the benefits and services of the social safety net. We found that – while participation rates varied by program – for most safety net programs, homeless families in our sample reported rates of participation greater than or equal to those of other deeply poor families.

    This research brief takes advantage of data collected for the Family Options Study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    This is the first in a series of research briefs that will draw on data from the Family Options Study to answer questions about family homelessness that are of interest and relevance to HHS and ACF. (author abstract)

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

    What are the patterns of benefit receipt among families who experience homelessness? This brief uses data collected for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study to analyze patterns of receipt of TANF cash assistance, SNAP food assistance, and publicly funded health insurance benefits among these families, with a focus on the characteristics of those receiving and not receiving benefits. The brief:

    • Examines whether family characteristics, including age, marital status, and demographic characteristics relate to benefit receipt
    • Explores the relationship between benefit receipt and housing instability following an initial shelter stay
    • Examines whether help accessing benefits is related to families’ TANF receipt. (Author abstract) 

    What are the patterns of benefit receipt among families who experience homelessness? This brief uses data collected for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study to analyze patterns of receipt of TANF cash assistance, SNAP food assistance, and publicly funded health insurance benefits among these families, with a focus on the characteristics of those receiving and not receiving benefits. The brief:

    • Examines whether family characteristics, including age, marital status, and demographic characteristics relate to benefit receipt
    • Explores the relationship between benefit receipt and housing instability following an initial shelter stay
    • Examines whether help accessing benefits is related to families’ TANF receipt. (Author abstract) 
  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Shinn, Marybeth; Wood, Michelle; Bell, Stephen; Dastrup, Samuel; Solari, Claudia D.; Brown, Scott R.; McInnis, Debi; McCall, Tom; Kattel, Utsav
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at...

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at the longer, 37-month followup. For example, 20 months after random assignment, assignment to SUB reduced the proportion of families with child separations in the 6 months before the survey--this effect was not detected in the 6 months before the 37-month survey. Also in this longer window of observation, some positive impacts in the child well-being domain have emerged. Families offered a voucher continue to be significantly more food secure and experience significantly less economic stress than families offered the other interventions. On measures of employment and earnings, the modest negative impacts of vouchers relative to usual care have fallen, although some remain statistically significant. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Leopold, Josh; Dunton, Lauren; Fiore, Nichole; Griffith, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This report presents the results of a survey of the 27 cities that comprise The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Respondents were asked to provide information on emergency food assistance and homeless services provided between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. 

    We found:

    • A sharp increase in the need for hunger assistance over the past year. On average, cities reported a 26 percent increase in the demand for assistance, the largest average increase since 1991.

    • An increase in requests from middle class households that used to donate to food pantries, as well as increases in requests from families and from people who are uninsured, elderly, working poor, or homeless. People also are visiting food pantries and emergency kitchens more often.

    • A large increase in the amount of food distributed over the past year was driven by both increased supply -- federal assistance from the stimulus package -- and increased need. Growing demand has caused food banks to distribute more and stockpile less.

    • Despite the...

    This report presents the results of a survey of the 27 cities that comprise The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Respondents were asked to provide information on emergency food assistance and homeless services provided between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. 

    We found:

    • A sharp increase in the need for hunger assistance over the past year. On average, cities reported a 26 percent increase in the demand for assistance, the largest average increase since 1991.

    • An increase in requests from middle class households that used to donate to food pantries, as well as increases in requests from families and from people who are uninsured, elderly, working poor, or homeless. People also are visiting food pantries and emergency kitchens more often.

    • A large increase in the amount of food distributed over the past year was driven by both increased supply -- federal assistance from the stimulus package -- and increased need. Growing demand has caused food banks to distribute more and stockpile less.

    • Despite the recession, 16 cities, 64 percent of respondents, reported a leveling or decrease in the number of homeless individuals over the past year. This is an indication of the success of policies aimed at ending chronic homelessness among single adults with disabilities.

    • Nineteen cities, 76 percent of respondents, reported an increase in family homelessness. Cities attributed the increase in family homelessness to the recession and a lack of affordable housing.

    • Only ten cities reported having homeless ‘tent cities’ or other large homeless encampments and even within these cities they account for a very small percentage of people who are homeless.

    • Eighteen cities, 72 percent of respondents, reported that the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), funded through the stimulus, will ‘fundamentally change the way [their] community provides services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness’. Cities are using HPRP funding to develop central intake systems for homeless services, coordinate services more closely with surrounding areas, or offer homeless prevention assistance for the first time. (author abstract)

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