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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: Culhane, Dennis P.; Koblinsky, Sally A.; Wilson, Cynthia P.; Weinreb, Jenni
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1996

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families...

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families. Most require assistance and opportunities in areas at least as comprehensive as the issues that caused their homelessness in the first place. Areas of need include financial planning, substance abuse counseling, further education, parenting classes, mental health counseling, and treatment for chronic illnesses (including HIV/AIDS), among a host of others.
    4. For homeless families to improve their circumstances, their children must be able to remain in school and receive services necessary to address the developmental challenges that are likely to arise as a result of their homelessness. Without addressing the specific needs of homeless children, particularly those needs related to their homelessness, the long-term prospects for a family’s well-being may be greatly compromised. (author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Lewit, Eugene M.; Baker, Linda Schuurmann
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    This Child Indicators article focuses on available data on homeless families and children. First, it reviews different definitions of homelessness and the most common methods used to estimate the size of the homeless population. It then examines data on subgroups of homeless children and youths in the United States and considers the duration of homelessness for families with children that use shelter services. Finally, it examines trends in the numbers of families who are at risk of losing their housing. (author introduction)

    This Child Indicators article focuses on available data on homeless families and children. First, it reviews different definitions of homelessness and the most common methods used to estimate the size of the homeless population. It then examines data on subgroups of homeless children and youths in the United States and considers the duration of homelessness for families with children that use shelter services. Finally, it examines trends in the numbers of families who are at risk of losing their housing. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Greene, Jody M.; Sanchez, Rebecca; Harris, Jennie; Cignetti, Connie; Akin, Don; Wheeless, Sara
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Homeless, runaway, and throwaway youth (HRTY) constitute a high-risk population that urgently requires the attention of policy makers (Robertson, 1991; Russell, 1995; Solarz, 1988). Although little is known about this population, studies suggest that compared with their domiciled peers, HRTY are at significantly greater risk for medical problems and health-compromising behaviors that include HIV and other sexually transmitted and infectious diseases; substance abuse; psychotic behavior, depression, and suicide attempts; prostitution; and trauma (Russell, 1995; Greene, Ringwalt, Kelly, Iachan, & Cohen, 1995; Greenblatt & Robertson, 1993; Kipke et al., 1995; Robertson, 1989; Robertson et al., 1989; Rotheram-Borus et al., 1992; Sherman, 1992; Yates et al., 1988; Greene et al., 1999; Greene & Ringwalt, 1996). Furthermore, service providers report that the population appears to be increasing in size, with a trend toward clients who are more troubled and have multiple problems (Slesnick et al., 2000).

    To plan programs and interventions for these young people, public...

    Homeless, runaway, and throwaway youth (HRTY) constitute a high-risk population that urgently requires the attention of policy makers (Robertson, 1991; Russell, 1995; Solarz, 1988). Although little is known about this population, studies suggest that compared with their domiciled peers, HRTY are at significantly greater risk for medical problems and health-compromising behaviors that include HIV and other sexually transmitted and infectious diseases; substance abuse; psychotic behavior, depression, and suicide attempts; prostitution; and trauma (Russell, 1995; Greene, Ringwalt, Kelly, Iachan, & Cohen, 1995; Greenblatt & Robertson, 1993; Kipke et al., 1995; Robertson, 1989; Robertson et al., 1989; Rotheram-Borus et al., 1992; Sherman, 1992; Yates et al., 1988; Greene et al., 1999; Greene & Ringwalt, 1996). Furthermore, service providers report that the population appears to be increasing in size, with a trend toward clients who are more troubled and have multiple problems (Slesnick et al., 2000).

    To plan programs and interventions for these young people, public health professionals and social workers need accurate information on the size and characteristics of the HRTY population. However, there is little empirical evidence about the prevalence or incidence of homelessness or of becoming a runaway or a throwaway, largely because of the challenges inherent in studying this population: contradictory definitions of what constitutes homeless, runaway, and throwaway experiences; an absence of standardized methodology for sampling HRTY; and an over-reliance on data from shelters and agencies. Such challenges likely lead to inaccurate conclusions about the size and characteristics of the population (Robertson, 1991; Russell, 1995; Greene et al., 1995; Robertson et al., 1989; Yates et al., 1988; Burt, 1992; Culhane et al., 1994; Ringwalt et al., 1998). Available estimates of the number of HRTY are highly problematic, and the actual numbers remain unknown. The number of the nation’s youth who run away from home, are forced to leave their home, or who experience homelessness in the course of a year may be well over one million (Ringwalt, Greene, Robertson, McPheeters, 1998; U.S. Department of Justice, 2002). Despite their large numbers, HRTY are an understudied and undercounted population. Carefully collected data on this population are rare and findings can be inconsistent, largely because sample sizes tend to be small. The result is an incomplete understanding of the characteristics, lifestyles, problems, and needs of homeless youth. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Buckner, John; Rog, Debra
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    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...

    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. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Long, David; Rio, John; Rosen, Jeremy
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 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. (author abstract) 

    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. (author abstract) 

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