Homelessness: Resources for Social Workers
In 2005, an estimated 744,313 men, women, and children were homeless in the United States (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2007). The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 defines people as homeless when they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or when their primary residence is a temporary place for people about to be institutionalized, any place not meant for regular sleeping accommodation by humans, or a supervised temporary shelter. There is no one typical homeless individual. Those who lack stable housing live in a variety of settings, both urban and rural, are a range of ages, face an array of health issues, arrived at this position for a variety of reasons, and require an assortment of social work services.
One subset of the homeless population includes former foster youth. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, within two to four years of exiting foster care, 25 percent of foster children experience homelessness. As several of the research articles listed below indicates, another subset of homeless individuals is those with mental health needs. There are also a large number of former veterans who become homeless. It is estimated that between 23 percent and 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans (National Alliance to End Homelessness). Finally, many of those who face homelessness are families—women and children. Of those children who are homeless, 43 percent are younger than six (National Alliance to End Homelessness).
Social workers in a variety of positions will likely provide services to this diverse population at some point in time. It is therefore important to be equipped with the information necessary to understand and address the needs of these individuals. To that end, this Web site provides resources on research pertinent to issues faced by social workers. These include journal articles, papers presented at a national symposium, and descriptions of organizations that provide research findings and further information.
National Alliance to End Homelessness (2007). Homelessness counts. Retrieved June 27, 2008, from http://www.naeh.org/content/article/detail/1440
National Alliance to End Homelessness. Homelessness in the United States of America. Retrieved June 27, 2008, from http://www.naeh.org/files/1154_file_High_School.pdf
Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research
March 1–2, 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsored the second National Symposium on Homelessness Research. The Web site listed above contains a compendium of the 12 papers prepared for and presented at the symposium. While the papers commissioned for the 2007 symposium cover a wide range of topics, two broad themes illustrate how the fields of homelessness research and practice have evolved since a similar symposium in 1998. They are:
- The emergence and strengthening of new and existing collaborative efforts to address homelessness at all levels of government and among local providers and consumers is a distinguishing feature of the last decade of homeless assistance; and
- The increased emphasis on collecting and using data to understand better the characteristics and dynamics of homelessness is helping the homeless assistance field synthesize research findings, assess what we know, and outline what we still need to learn.
Abstracts from the research papers presented at the symposium are cited below.
Historical and contextual influences on the U.S. response
to contemporary homelessness. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.)
National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, Leginski, W. (2007). from
This paper reviews the nature of and responses to homelessness throughout the nation’s history and the evolution of approaches to contemporary homelessness. The author notes that, in the past two decades, a de facto system of service has evolved to apply actions and services to a population experiencing homelessness, through a network of organizations that deliver services within a funding and policy context. He further states, however, that the system is not driven by specific legislation or theory. Instead of a coherent system, different approaches have been adopted by federal departments and the advocacy community. The author’s assessment of progress and future opportunities focuses on the current emphasis on addressing chronic homelessness within the context of the proposed
Changing homeless and mainstream service systems: Essential approaches to ending homelessness. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, Burt, M. and Spellman, B. (2007). from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/burt/index.htm
Martha Burt and Brooke Spellman focus on how federal policy and state and local action have stimulated the development of homeless assistance networks and how those networks are evolving to address ending homelessness. While little formal research has been done on this subject, the authors present frameworks for assessing system change as well as describe promising practices from the field. They describe factors that may influence the success of change efforts, including the local and state context, the interest and commitment of stakeholders, the scope of desired change, the governance and management structure for change, and the intended process for change. They also review mechanisms that help make change happen by reorienting local Continuums of Care, matching clients and services, retooling funding approaches, and using data to track implementation and outcomes.
Consumer integration and self-determination in homelessness research, policy, planning, and services.
In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, Barrow, S., McMullin, L., Tripp, J., & Tsemberis, S.(2007). from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/barrow/index.htm
The authors assess how the process and outcomes of research, policy, and service delivery change when they involve or are driven by people who have themselves experienced homelessness. They review the available evaluation literature and present lessons from the field on consumer integration in research, policy, and program implementation. Barriers to consumer integration and strategies for addressing these barriers are described. Barrow and her colleagues further address what happens when people who are homeless make the decisions about the housing and services they need. They conclude by reviewing findings on the individual- and system-level impacts of consumer-driven approaches to homeless assistance.
People who experience long-term homelessness: Characteristics and interventions.
Caton, C., Wilkins, C., & Anderson, J. (2007). In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J.
Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved
July 21, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/caton/index.htm
Carol Caton, Carol Wilkins, and Jacquelyn Anderson document the considerable efforts of the past decade to address the needs of people who are considered “chronically homeless; that is, unaccompanied adults with disabling conditions who experience long or numerous spells of homelessness. The authors detail the prevalence, characteristics, and service needs of adults who are chronically homeless and present a synthesis of recent research on service and housing interventions. Finally, they discuss the implications of the findings for services and for future research. The authors note that rigorous research on many interventions is lacking, but promising practices from the field may help guide the development of housing and services.
Homeless families and children.
Rog, D., & Buckner, J. (2007). In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/rog/index.htm
Debra Rog and John Buckner report that since the mid-1990s, there has been continued research and policy interest in understanding the characteristics and needs of families and children who become homeless, especially in understanding the heterogeneity within the population and whether a “typology” of families can be created (i.e., distinguishing families with greater needs for services and housing from those with lesser needs). The authors review the findings from recent studies on homeless families and children and summarize the descriptive and outcome findings from evaluations of housing and service interventions and prevention efforts. With respect to children, research has focused on understanding and documenting the impact of homelessness on children. Rog and Buckner emphasize that that many of the challenges homeless families and children confront are also experienced by families that are very poor but not homeless, pointing to the need for further research on how to target assistance most efficiently to minimize the incidence and duration of homelessness for low-income families and children in general.
Homeless youth in the United States: Recent research findings and intervention approaches.
In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Toro, P., Dworsky, A., & Fowler, P. (2007). Retrieved July 21, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/toro/index.htm
In this paper, the authors cite research indicating that youth may be the single age group most at risk of becoming homeless, yet comparatively little research has been done in the past decade on this vulnerable population. Some important progress has been made, including longitudinal studies on youth “aging out” of foster care. After reviewing the characteristics of homeless youth, the authors review recent research findings on the homeless youth population and interventions developed to address their housing and service needs. These include interventions directed at youth themselves (education, employment, social skills training) as well as family-focused strategies. The authors conclude with future directions for both research and practice.
Characteristics of help-seeking street youth and non-street youth.
In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Molino, A. (2007). Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/molino/index.htm
Alma Molino, a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, was selected through a competitive process to prepare a paper on her research on runaway and homeless youth. The author used data collected from callers to the National Runaway Switchboard to describe the characteristics and issues facing a large national sample of youth who have run away or are in crisis, and to examine the associations between these issues and status as a street youth (runaway, throwaway or homeless) or non-street youth (considering running away or being in general crisis). The relationship between the type and number of issues and the frequency of running behavior is also assessed.
Rural homelessness. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium
on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/robertson/index.htm. Robertson, M., Harris, N., Fritz, N., Noftsinger, R., & Fischer, P. (2007).
For the 1998 Symposium on Homelessness Research, rural homelessness was not assigned as a paper topic in its own right. Due to its increasing significance, the authors prepared a paper on rural homelessness for the 2007 Symposium. Given the somewhat limited formal research available, the authors supplemented their literature review with information from government documents and technical assistance materials as well as input from an expert panel of researchers and practitioners. The paper summarizes what is documented to date about the characteristics of people who are homeless in rural areas and examines whether rural homelessness and the service approaches to address it can be differentiated from urban homelessness. The authors identify gaps in current knowledge about rural homelessness and recommend new directions for research.
Incarceration and homelessness. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/metraux/index.htm. Metraux, S., Roman, C., & Cho, R. (2007).
This paper provides a synthesis of the emerging literature on the nexus between incarceration and homelessness. The authors explain how the increasing numbers of people leaving carceral institutions face an increased risk for homelessness and, conversely, how persons experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to incarceration. The authors review recent efforts to address reentry issues and review research results on studies of homelessness among prison and jail populations and research on incarceration among people who homeless. After reviewing common barriers to housing for people who have been incarcerated, the authors assess what is known about the effectiveness of services and housing interventions to address these barriers and outline needs for future research.
Housing models. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/locke/index.htm. Locke, G., Khadduri, J., & O’Hara, A. (2007).
This paper provides an overview of current housing and service models for programs serving people who are homeless and synthesizes the research on the efficacy of each model, what we know about which models work for whom, and the implications for preventing and ending homelessness. The authors begin with background on housing, poverty, and homelessness, including a discussion of changes in the policy and program context within which programs for homeless people operate that have affected housing models since the late 1990s. They then review the recent literature—both descriptions of program models and research on outcomes—focusing first on housing models for families and then on housing models for single individuals with disabilities. Finally, the authors suggest implications for preventing or ending homelessness and directions for future research.
Employment and income supports for homeless people. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/long/index.htm. Long, D., Rio, J., & Rosen, J. (2007).
In this paper, the authors synthesize the findings of recent studies examining the role of mainstream programs such as Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) initiatives in enhancing employment and incomes for people who have experienced homelessness. They also describe the design and outcomes of targeted programs designed specifically to address employment and income support for people who are homeless. While some rigorous evaluations have been done on mainstream programs, the effects of the interventions on the subpopulation that has been homeless are often not addressed. Few rigorous studies have been done on targeted programs. The authors draw several conclusions from the available evidence and outline future research directions to fill important gaps in the research literature.
Accountability, cost-effectiveness, and program performance: Progress since 1998. In D. Dennis, G. Locke, & J. Khadduri (Eds.). National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Culhane, D., Parker, W., Poppe, B., Gross, K., & Sykes, E. (2007). Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/homelessness/symposium07/culhane/index.htm
The authors summarize the progress made in the past decade toward making homeless assistance programs more accountable to funders, consumers, and the public. They observe that research on the costs of homelessness and cost offsets associated with intervention programs has been limited to people who are homeless with severe mental illness. But this research has raised awareness of the value of this approach, such that dozens of new studies in this area are underway, mostly focused on “chronic homelessness.” Less progress has been made in using cost and performance data to systematically assess interventions for families, youth, and transitionally homeless adults. The authors present case studies of promising practices from the State of Arizona and Columbus, Ohio, demonstrating innovative uses of client and program data to measure performance and improve program management toward state policy goals, such as increased housing placement rates, reduced lengths of homelessness, and improved housing stability.
The following are research examples found in
Social Work Abstracts, an NASW publication that culls behavioral and social science literature. A search for “homeless*” yielded 137 articles published between 2002 and 2008. The following references were selected to show a range of social work issues using the most recent research findings. They are divided by population (elderly, men , veterans , women and youth ) and issue (substance abuse and mental health ).
Social justice, respect and meaning-making: Keys to working with the homeless elderly population. Health and Social Work, 32(4), 301-307.
Proehl, R.A. (2007, November).
In recent years, the number of homeless individuals who are older than 50 has grown, and the numbers are expected to increase as the homeless problem and elderly population escalates. At the same time that the aging population is growing, the amount of affordable housing is decreasing, thus making the marginally housed individuals even more vulnerable (Rosenheck et al., 1998). Estimates of the aging homeless population vary considerably, ranging from 6 percent to 27 percent of the total homeless population (Kutza & Keigher, 1991), but the numbers alone do not tell the story of this population.
‘Dad, where are we going to live now?’ Exploring fathers’ experiences of homelessness. Australian Social Work, 59(3), 288-300.
McArthur, M., Zubrzycki, J., Rochester, A., & Thomson, L. (2006, September).
In 2003, over 41,000 families with accompanying children throughout Australia were assisted by homeless services. Sole fathers with children in their care who are homeless are a minority group within this overall population of homeless families and, as such, little is known about their experiences of homelessness and fathering. The present paper reports on an exploratory study of sole fathers with children in their care who were homeless in the Australian Capital Territory. The study identifies the fathers’ pathways into and experiences of homelessness, and the fathers share their stories of what it means to be a sole father. The paper identifies the issues fathers may experience when dealing with homelessness and fatherhood. An increased understanding of these experiences can contribute to the development of further research and improved practice with such families.
Disability benefits and clinical outcomes among homeless veterans with psychiatric and substance abuse problems. Community Mental Health Journal, 43(1), 57-74.
Mares, A.S., & Rosenheck, R.A. (2007, February).
This study examined the relationship between disability payment status and clinical outcomes among 305 homeless veterans entering VA treatment. Disability status and clinical outcomes were characterized using self-report data at program entry, and quarterly for 2 years thereafter. Seeking or already receiving disability benefits at program entry was not associated with any of the 8 clinical outcomes examined. Those seeking or receiving disability benefits during the 2 years that followed showed more serious mental health problems and lower levels of mental health functioning, but no greater risk of substance use or not being employed nor worse housing outcomes than those who remained uninterested in applying for disability benefits. This study does not, therefore, support the notion that disability orientation results in poorer clinical outcomes, at least not among homeless veterans.
Risk factors for first-time homelessness in low-income women. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77(1), 20-28.
Lehmann, E.R., Kass, P.H., Drake, C.M., & Nichols, S.B. (2007, January).
Determinants of first-time homelessness were evaluated in Sacramento, California and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. First-time homeless women had more cumulative risks for homelessness than low-income never-homeless women, even with the putative advantage of higher levels of education. Solutions to homelessness should address more than one dimension of risk.
Access to women’s health care: A qualitative study of barriers perceived by homeless women. Women and Health, 40(2), 87-100.
Gelberg, L., Browner, C.H., Lejano, E., & Arangua, L. (2004).
Homelessness is an escalating national problem and women are disproportionately affected. Nevertheless, few studies have focused on the special circumstances associated with being a homeless woman. For instance, while both genders experience serious barriers to obtaining health care, homeless women face an additional burden by virtue of their sexual and reproductive health needs. The current study was conducted as the first stage of a qualitative/quantitative investigation of homeless women’s access and barriers to family planning and women’s health care. We interviewed 47 homeless women of diverse ages and ethnic backgrounds. A qualitative approach was initially taken to explore the factors homeless women themselves perceive as barriers to their use of birth control and women’s health services, and factors they believe would facilitate their use. Key findings are that health is not a priority for homeless women, that transportation and scheduling can be particularly burdensome for homeless women, and that being homeless leads some to feel stigmatized by health care providers. Despite being homeless, having children was extremely important to the women in our study. At the same time, those interested in contraception confronted significant barriers in their efforts to prevent pregnancies. We conclude with suggested interventions that would make general, gynecological, and reproductive health care more accessible to homeless women.
Integrating behavioral health services for homeless mothers and children in primary care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77(1), 142-152.
Weinreb, L., Nicholson, J., Williams, V., & Anthes, F. (2007, January).
This article describes an innovative trauma-informed care management model in which mental health, substance abuse, and support services are integrated for homeless families in primary care. The rationale for service integration in a health care setting is discussed and the conceptual underpinnings of the model are elaborated, drawing from the literature and clinical experience. Service encounter data collected by each staff member over a 1-year period (N = 7,214 encounters) allow for description of program functions and provider roles and activities, an essential step in developing the fidelity indicators necessary for future program replication and rigorous testing in additional settings. The feasibility of implementing an integrated set of services for homeless families in primary care is demonstrated. Practice, training, and research implications are discussed.
Coping and suicidality among homeless youth. Journal of Adolescence, 30(2), 283-296.
Kidd, S.A., & Carroll, M.R. (2007, April).
This study examined the impact of coping strategies employed by homeless youth upon suicidal ideation, suicide attempts on the streets, and feeling trapped/helpless. Coping strategies examined in the analysis included problem-focused and avoidant coping, along with several coping strategies identified in previous exploratory qualitative studies. Greater risk was associated with avoidant coping, social withdrawal, use of drugs and alcohol as coping, with “belief in a better future” linked to lowered risk levels. Gender interactions emerged with respect to avoidant coping and social withdrawal, both of which served as greater contributors to risk levels among females. Several approaches to coping including problem-focused strategies and strategies identified by youths in previous qualitative works emerged as not serving to ameliorate suicidality.
Successful transitions of runaway/homeless youth from shelter care. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16(4), 545-555.
Nebbitt, V.E., House, L.E., & Thompson, S.J. (2007, August).
Previous research indicates that runaway and homeless youth often achieve positive outcomes after shelter stays however few studies have examined how these outcomes are achieved. This study employs qualitative methods to explicate this phenomenon. Twenty-five providers and 21 youth from four shelters participated in this study. Youth were recruited who had completed shelter care and returned home for minimally six months. Multiple raters identified themes and created a conceptual model. While in shelter, youths experienced structure and freedom, and the family experienced respite. Once youth became involved in treatment, the family re-connected and the youth returned home. After returning home, youth and family become involved in follow-up services. Results from our study provide insight into the process through which runaway/homeless youth return home after a shelter stay. Our findings emphasize the need for continued change by all members of the family system, highlighting the need for continued intervention to maintain positive changes.
Stories of working with homeless youth: On being ‘mind-boggling.’ Children and Youth Services Review, 29(1), 16-34.
Kidd, S.A., Miner, S., Walker, D., & Davidson, L. (2007, January).
This study examines the narratives of 15 youth workers on their experiences with service provision for homeless and street-involved youth. Workers discussed a need to have a versatile approach which can be tailored to an individual youth’s circumstances. Establishing a connection based upon valuing, respecting, and liking a youth allows for the development of a trusting relationship which is essential for effective interventions. Also addressed was the social context of this work including relationships among staff, agency structure, and the impact of the stigmatization of homelessness. Lastly, the process of becoming an effective worker was addressed, including the establishment of clear boundaries, recognizing the rewarding aspects of the work, and avoiding burnout.
Early outcomes for young adults transitioning from out-of-home care in the USA. Child and Family Social Work, 11(3), 209-219.
Courtney, M.E. & Dworsky, A. (2006, March).
This paper describes the well-being of participants in the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (n = 603), a study of youth leaving out-of-home care in the USA, at the point where they have been ‘young adults’ for about 1 year. Although some of these young adults are in stable situations and either moving forward with their education or employed in promising jobs, more of them are having significant difficulties during the early stages of the transition to adulthood. Too many are neither employed nor in school, have children that they are not able to parent, suffer from persistent mental illness or substance use disorders, find themselves without basic necessities, become homeless, or end up involved with the criminal justice system. They are doing worse than other young adults across a number of important dimensions. Most of these young adults continue to maintain relations with members of their family of origin, with many finding themselves living with family at age 19. Importantly, those young people who chose to remain under the care and supervision of the child welfare system experienced better outcomes than those who either chose to or were forced to leave care.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Treating homeless clients with severe mental illness and substance use disorders: Costs and outcomes. Community Mental Health Journal, 42(4), 377-404.
Morse, G.A., Calsyn, R.J., Klinkenberg, W.D., Helminiak, T.W., Wolff, N., Drake, R.E., et al. (2006, August).
This study compared the costs and outcomes associated with three treatment programs that served 149 individuals with dual disorders (i.e., individuals with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorders) who were homeless at baseline. The three treatment programs were: Integrated Assertive Community Treatment (IACT), Assertive Community Treatment only (ACTO), and standard care (Control). Participants were randomly assigned to treatment and followed for a period of 24 months. Clients in the IACT and ACTO programs were more satisfied with their treatment program and reported more days in stable housing than clients in the Control condition. There were no significant differences between treatment groups on psychiatric symptoms and substance use. The average total costs associated with the IACT and Control conditions were significantly less than the average total costs for the ACTO condition.
A review of the literature on the effectiveness of housing and support, assertive community treatment, and intensive case management interventions for persons with mental illness who have been homeless. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77(3), 350-361.
Nelson, G., Aubry, T., & Lafrance, A. (2007, July).
A review of 16 controlled outcome evaluations of housing and support interventions for people with mental illness who have been homeless revealed significant reductions in homelessness and hospitalization and improvements in other outcomes (e.g., well-being) resulting from programs that provided permanent housing and support, assertive community treatment (ACT), and intensive case management (ICM). The best outcomes for housing stability were found for programs that combined housing and support (effect size = .67), followed by ACT alone (effect size = .47), while the weakest outcomes were found for ICM programs alone (effect size = .28). The results of this review were discussed in terms of their implications for policy, practice, and future research.
Community integration of adults with psychiatric disabilities and histories of homelessness. Community Mental Health Journal, 43(3), 211-228.
Gulcur, L., Tsemberis, S., Stefancic, A., & Greenwood, R.M. (2007, June).
This study tests components of Wong and Solomon’s (2002, Mental Health Services Research, 4(2), 13–28) model of community integration, identifying both the dimensions and predictors of integration. It evaluates community integration among adults with psychiatric disabilities assigned randomly to receive either independent scatter-site apartments with the Housing First approach (experimental) or services as usual (control). Factor analysis supported a definition of community integration that includes psychological, physical, and social domains, but also suggested the existence of another factor, independence/self-actualization. Regression analysis suggested that choice and independent scatter-site housing were predictors of psychological and social integration respectively. Psychiatric hospitalization, symptomatology and participation in substance use treatment were also found to influence aspects of integration. We discuss several issues that future studies should explore including the possibility that the same factor can differentially influence discrete aspects of integration, the role of person–environment fit, integration that is not based in the neighborhood, and, finally, conceptions of community integration from the perspective of consumers themselves.
Below is a list of federal and non-federal organizations that address the needs of the homeless. These organizations’ Web sites cover topics such as funding assistance, direct service, and advocacy. All provide information that would be of use and interest to those doing research on issues of homelessness.
DOL: Homeless & Service Providers to the Homeless
The Department of Labor administers programs providing employment and training services that are crucial components in the comprehensive efforts to address the cycle of homelessness. The Department offers both mainstream and targeted employment-focused programs that help lead to self-sufficiency. The DOL strategy focuses on helping homeless Americans who want to work or can become job-ready. DOL’s objectives are to: 1) provide access to mainstream employment assistance and services, and 2) identify skill needs in today’s workforce and address skill deficiencies of this population. (DOL Mission Statement)
The Homeless Home Page of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information in an effort to coordinate the agency’s services intended to address the delivery of treatment and services to persons experiencing homelessness. This site includes grants, resources, research and publications, and links to further information.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with many other federal agencies, funds programs to help the homeless. These programs are managed by local organizations that provide a range of services, including shelter, food, counseling, and jobs-skills programs. This Web page provides information on finding local resources and sources of further information.
Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH)
ICH is primarily focused on the development of a comprehensive federal approach to end homelessness. To this end, the council plans and coordinates federal activities and programs to assist homeless people, makes or recommends policy changes to improve such assistance, monitors and evaluates assistance to homeless persons provided by all levels of government and the private sector, ensures that technical assistance is provided to help community and other organizations effectively assist homeless persons, and disseminates information on federal resources available to assist the homeless population.
National Alliance to End Homelessness: Homelessness Research Institute
The Homelessness Research Institute is the research and education arm of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. It works to end homelessness by building and disseminating knowledge that informs policy change. ”The goals of the Homelessness Research Institute are to build the intellectual capital around solutions to homelessness; to advance data and research so that policymakers, practitioners, and the caring public have the best information about trends in homelessness and emerging solutions; and to engage the media to ensure intelligent reporting on the issue.” (Web site description)
National Center on Family Homelessness
The National Center on Family Homelessness is determined to end family homelessness.
Through research, they learn what families need to rebound from the economic, social, medical and mental health problems that put them on the streets. Through program evaluation, they identify strategies that work. They use this knowledge to design innovative practices, bring training and technical assistance to community-based shelters and service providers, and improve policy across the nation. (Taken from mission statement)
National Coalition for the Homeless
The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission – to end homelessness. Toward this end, the NCH engages in public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. Their work focuses on the following four areas: housing justice, economic justice, health care justice, and civil rights. (Web site description)
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year. (Web site description)
SAMHSA: Homelessness Services
SAMHSA supports programs that assist people with mental illnesses who are homeless in obtaining treatment and other services such as primary health care, substance abuse treatment, legal assistance, entitlements, and other supports, while making the transition from homelessness. SAMHSA has developed models for programs to deliver mental health services to people who are homeless with severe mental illnesses and provides funding to states to deliver support services. (Web site description)
SAMHSA: Homelessness Resource Center (HRC)
The Homelessness Resource Center is an interactive community of providers, consumers, policymakers, researchers, and public agencies at federal, state, and local levels. They share state-of-the art knowledge and promising practices to prevent and end homelessness through training and technical assistance, publications and materials, online learning opportunities, and networking and collaboration. (Web site description)
SSA: Service to the Homeless
This Social Security Administration Web site provides extensive information about agency collaborations, evaluation reports, and further resources for serving the homeless population.
Urban Institute: Publications on Homelessness
The Urban Institute has more than 70 publications that address the topic of homelessness. Many of these are program evaluations and recommendations. They also provide information on testimony and policy briefs.
VA: Homeless Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible. Although limited to veterans and their dependents, the VA’s major homeless-specific programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless treatment and assistance services in the country. This Web site provides more information about these programs. (Web site description)