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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: Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    More than two decades ago, the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) was founded to explore the impact of homelessness on families, and especially children, in New York City. Since then, the scope of ICPH’s mission has expanded from one city to the entire United States. What began in 1998 as a report on homelessness in ten cities around the country has led to this publication, The American Almanac of Family Homelessness, exploring the issue across all 50 states.

    This Almanac is the result of three years of intensive review and evaluation, resulting in a comprehensive resource that presents data, policy analysis, and model programs and policies at the national, state, and local levels. It examines not only what we know about family homelessness, but also what we do not know, in order to both encourage the greater use of evidence-based practices and improve data collection.

    The causes of homelessness are varied and complex, and its effects on children and their parents can be devastating. Fortunately, there are a variety of service models and...

    More than two decades ago, the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) was founded to explore the impact of homelessness on families, and especially children, in New York City. Since then, the scope of ICPH’s mission has expanded from one city to the entire United States. What began in 1998 as a report on homelessness in ten cities around the country has led to this publication, The American Almanac of Family Homelessness, exploring the issue across all 50 states.

    This Almanac is the result of three years of intensive review and evaluation, resulting in a comprehensive resource that presents data, policy analysis, and model programs and policies at the national, state, and local levels. It examines not only what we know about family homelessness, but also what we do not know, in order to both encourage the greater use of evidence-based practices and improve data collection.

    The causes of homelessness are varied and complex, and its effects on children and their parents can be devastating. Fortunately, there are a variety of service models and housing solutions being utilized around the country to not only prevent the occurrence of homelessness, but also mitigate its impact. Unfortunately, we continue to struggle to link each family to the services that best fit its needs. The purpose of this publication is to present relevant information and analysis that will help providers, policymakers, and researchers to serve families most effectively.

    Homeless families have many champions across the country. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless providers, government officials, and advocates who aided us over the course of our research. Throughout the Almanac, we have utilized data and insight from state and local stakeholders to supplement publicly available federal sources and documents. Their assistance was essential to understanding the ways in which the needs and challenges of homeless families differ by locality and how providers can successfully tailor programs to their unique environments.

    We hope that you will find the Almanac a useful tool in whatever capacity you serve homeless families with children. Together, we can make sure that every child has a safe, stable home and a path to a brighter future. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Elliott, Diana; Thomas, Hannah; Wilson, Denise; Sattelmeyer, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

    Beginning with an overview of the measures and state of economic mobility in America, this session, moderated by Sarah Sattelmeyer (The Pew Charitable Trusts), will address three key questions related to mobility, specifically: Do all Americans enjoy equal opportunity at birth, regardless of the financial and economic status of their parents? What factors help propel someone up the economic ladder or push them down? What role should public policy play in promoting economic mobility?

    • Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility

    Diana Elliott (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

    • Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment

    Hannah Thomas (Brandeis University)

    • Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, But Not Others?

    Denise Wilson (Independent Contractor) (conference program description)

    These presentations were given at the 2014 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference (WREC).

  • Individual Author: Burd-Sharps, Sarah ; Lewis, Kristen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    An astonishing one in every seven Americans ages 16 to 24 is neither working nor in school—5.8 million young people in all. As their peers lay the foundation for a productive, fulfilling adulthood, these disconnected youth find themselves adrift at society’s margins, unmoored from the structures that confer knowledge, skills, identity, and purpose. The cost is high for affected individuals—and for society as a whole. Lack of attachment to the anchor institutions of school or work at this stage of life can leave scars that last a lifetime, affecting everything from earnings and financial independence to physical and mental health and even marital prospects.  And last year alone, youth disconnection cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue. This brief ranks the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas as well as the nation’s largest racial and ethnic groups in terms of youth disconnection. Key findings include the following: 

    • Big gaps separate major metro areas; in bottom-ranked Phoenix, 19 percent of young people are disconnected from the...

    An astonishing one in every seven Americans ages 16 to 24 is neither working nor in school—5.8 million young people in all. As their peers lay the foundation for a productive, fulfilling adulthood, these disconnected youth find themselves adrift at society’s margins, unmoored from the structures that confer knowledge, skills, identity, and purpose. The cost is high for affected individuals—and for society as a whole. Lack of attachment to the anchor institutions of school or work at this stage of life can leave scars that last a lifetime, affecting everything from earnings and financial independence to physical and mental health and even marital prospects.  And last year alone, youth disconnection cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue. This brief ranks the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas as well as the nation’s largest racial and ethnic groups in terms of youth disconnection. Key findings include the following: 

    • Big gaps separate major metro areas; in bottom-ranked Phoenix, 19 percent of young people are disconnected from the worlds of work and school, whereas in Boston, which tops the chart, only about 9 percent are.
    • African American young people have the highest rate of youth disconnection, 22.5 percent nationally. In Pittsburgh, Seattle, Detroit, and Phoenix, more than one in four African American young people are disconnected.
    • Young men are slightly more likely to be disconnected than young women, a reversal of the situation found in decades past. The situation varies by race and ethnicity, however. The gender gap is largest among African Americans; nationally, 26 percent of African American male youth are disconnected, compared to 19 percent of their female counterparts.
    • Youth disconnection mirrors adult disconnection: household poverty rates and the employment and educational status of adults in a community are strongly associated with youth disconnection
    • Where a young person lives is highly predictive of his or her likelihood of disconnection. The findings break down youth disconnection by neighborhoods within cities. The disparities between wealthy and poor communities are striking. For example, in New York, disconnection rates range from 3.7 percent in parts of Long Island to 35.6 percent in parts of the South Bronx.

    The report concludes with a set of recommendations for preventing youth disconnection, including moving beyond the “college-for-all” mantra to provide meaningful support and guidance both to young people aiming for a four-year bachelor’s degree and to those whose interests and career aspirations would be better served by relevant, high-quality career and technical education certificates and associate’s degrees. (author summary)

  • Individual Author: Morgenstern, Jon; Hogue, Aaron; Dasaro, Christopher ; Kuerbis, Alexis
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    This study examined barriers to employability, motivation to abstain from substances and to work, and involvement in multiple service systems among male and female welfare applicants with alcohol- and drug-use problems. A representative sample (N = 1,431) of all persons applying for public assistance who screened positive for substance involvement over a 2-year period in a large urban county were recruited in welfare offices. Legal, education, general health, mental health, employment, housing, and child welfare barriers to employability were assessed, as were readiness to abstain from substance use and readiness to work. Only 1 in 20 participants reported no barrier other than substance use, whereas 70% reported at least two other barriers and 40% reported three or more. Moreover, 70% of participants experienced at least one additional barrier classified as "severe" and 30% experienced two or more. The number and type of barriers differed by gender. Latent class analysis revealed four main barriers-plus-readiness profiles among participants: (1) multiple barriers, (2) work...

    This study examined barriers to employability, motivation to abstain from substances and to work, and involvement in multiple service systems among male and female welfare applicants with alcohol- and drug-use problems. A representative sample (N = 1,431) of all persons applying for public assistance who screened positive for substance involvement over a 2-year period in a large urban county were recruited in welfare offices. Legal, education, general health, mental health, employment, housing, and child welfare barriers to employability were assessed, as were readiness to abstain from substance use and readiness to work. Only 1 in 20 participants reported no barrier other than substance use, whereas 70% reported at least two other barriers and 40% reported three or more. Moreover, 70% of participants experienced at least one additional barrier classified as "severe" and 30% experienced two or more. The number and type of barriers differed by gender. Latent class analysis revealed four main barriers-plus-readiness profiles among participants: (1) multiple barriers, (2) work experienced, (3) criminal justice, and (4) unstable housing. Findings suggest that comprehensive coordination among social service systems is needed to address the complex problems of low-income Americans with substance-use disorders. Classifying applicants based on barriers and readiness is a promising approach to developing innovative welfare programs to serve the diverse needs of men and women with substance-related problems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pickering, Kathleen; Mushinski, David; Allen, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    Researchers’ and practitioners’ recognition of the importance of community social and cultural relations (“social capital”) to effective implementation of poverty reduction projects and differences in social capital across communities suggest that such projects should be tailored to the types of social capital present in a given community. Drawing upon a data set collected by the Northwest Area Foundation of twelve Native American communities which includes a wide array of questions regarding social capital, this paper evaluates the different types of social capital in each community and considers the implications of that capital for the types of poverty reduction programs which would be effective in each community. We find differences in social capital across the communities in the study, with resulting differing implications for economic development and poverty reduction projects. Our results support observations that social capital is a community-specific phenomenon and must, therefore, be studied at the local level. (author abstract)

    Researchers’ and practitioners’ recognition of the importance of community social and cultural relations (“social capital”) to effective implementation of poverty reduction projects and differences in social capital across communities suggest that such projects should be tailored to the types of social capital present in a given community. Drawing upon a data set collected by the Northwest Area Foundation of twelve Native American communities which includes a wide array of questions regarding social capital, this paper evaluates the different types of social capital in each community and considers the implications of that capital for the types of poverty reduction programs which would be effective in each community. We find differences in social capital across the communities in the study, with resulting differing implications for economic development and poverty reduction projects. Our results support observations that social capital is a community-specific phenomenon and must, therefore, be studied at the local level. (author abstract)

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