Community Development, Federal News, Homelessness, Reports and Publications

Interim Report on Effectiveness of Four Homelessness Intervention Methods

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

In a first of its kind study, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development evaluated the effects of four different interventions to help families experiencing homelessness: community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), project-based transitional housing (PBTH), permanent housing subsidies (SUB), and the usual care (UC) emergency shelter system.

HUD recently released an Interim Report on The Family Options Study earlier known as The Impact of Housing and Services Interventions on Homeless Families to present the results from the early implementation of the study. The Family Options Study is taking place in 12 communities across the country: Alameda County, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Bridgeport/New Haven, Denver, Honolulu, Kansas City, Louisville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis (including surrounding Hennepin County).

From September 2010 through January 2012, 2,307 families who had spent at least seven days in emergency shelter enrolled in the Family Options Study. The interim report describes the baseline characteristics of participating families and the interventions they were offered.

The interim report states that resources for homeless assistance are restricted, specifying that  project-based homeless interventions are rather rigid and lack the flexibility to shift resources based on changes in demands for service. Other findings included in the report:  homeless programs tend to have eligibility criteria that exclude many of the very families the programs are meant to help; and lower than expected participation rates may indicate a gap between services offered and services desired.

The final report on the study is expected in 2014 and will provide impact analysis of the interventions and their costs, utilizing administrative data and participant surveys 18 months after enrollment.


Click here to read the full report. 


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