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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: 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: Page-Adams, Deborah; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Asset building is helping impoverished families save for education, home ownership, microenterprise, and other community revitalization purposes. These community development programs are built in part on the idea that assets have multiple positive effects on well-being. A system of individual development accounts is often used to structure and subsidize asset accumulation. Studies that evaluate the implementation, performance, and effects of asset building will be critical in assessing the potential of community development based on special savings accounts. This article summarizes findings from studies addressing the effects of assets on personal well-being, economic security, civic behavior, women's status, and children's well-being. Implications for demonstration and evaluation of asset-based community revitalization initiatives are discussed. (Author abstract)

    Asset building is helping impoverished families save for education, home ownership, microenterprise, and other community revitalization purposes. These community development programs are built in part on the idea that assets have multiple positive effects on well-being. A system of individual development accounts is often used to structure and subsidize asset accumulation. Studies that evaluate the implementation, performance, and effects of asset building will be critical in assessing the potential of community development based on special savings accounts. This article summarizes findings from studies addressing the effects of assets on personal well-being, economic security, civic behavior, women's status, and children's well-being. Implications for demonstration and evaluation of asset-based community revitalization initiatives are discussed. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sweeney, Eileen; Schott, Liz; Lazere, Ed; Fremstad, Shawn; Goldberg, Heidi; Guyer, Jocelyn; Super, David; Johnson, Clifford
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This report describes an array of innovative strategies and practical ideas for helping low-income families with children. There is a window of opportunity for these new strategies as many states have tremendous financial resources available. The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program rules have been clarified, and families are running up to the time limits which welfare reform imposed in 1996. The proposals are organized into three categories. The first, providing work supports for low-income families, includes suggestions for: (1) worker stipends; (2) state earned income tax credits; (3) transportation assistance; (4) accessible and affordable child care; (5) job retention and advancement services; (6) short-term aid; (7) expanded health care coverage; and (8) incentives to pay child support. A second section discusses addressing barriers parents face to enable them to work, and the third section considers the needs of specific populations, such as the disabled, legal immigrants, victims of violence, and low-income noncustodial parents. The primary focus is on...

    This report describes an array of innovative strategies and practical ideas for helping low-income families with children. There is a window of opportunity for these new strategies as many states have tremendous financial resources available. The Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program rules have been clarified, and families are running up to the time limits which welfare reform imposed in 1996. The proposals are organized into three categories. The first, providing work supports for low-income families, includes suggestions for: (1) worker stipends; (2) state earned income tax credits; (3) transportation assistance; (4) accessible and affordable child care; (5) job retention and advancement services; (6) short-term aid; (7) expanded health care coverage; and (8) incentives to pay child support. A second section discusses addressing barriers parents face to enable them to work, and the third section considers the needs of specific populations, such as the disabled, legal immigrants, victims of violence, and low-income noncustodial parents. The primary focus is on promising initiatives that can be financed through the use of federal or state welfare funds. Two innovative strategies that can draw on federal or federally matched funds available through the Medicaid or food stamp programs are also included. Appendixes A and B discuss the rules governing use of TANF, and Appendix C discusses food stamp eligibility and benefits. Two other appendixes contain resources for additional information and a list of proposals cited in the report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fishman, Michael E. ; Boland, Kathleen A.; Gardiner, Karen N.; Sosland, Abby
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Interest in work and self-sufficiency among welfare recipients was heightened among government officials, social service providers, academics, and the general public when Congress enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PWRORA), which changed the focus of the welfare system from income support to work. PRWORA ended the six-decade-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Notable features of the new law include a five-year federal lifetime time limit on cash assistance, stringent work requirements, and conversion of AFDC, an open-ended entitlement, to TANF, a capped block grant. One agency affected by welfare reform is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to one estimate, half of all families with children residing in public housing in the mid-1990s were AFDC recipients (Newman, 1999). The Department has long recognized that its clients face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency, and that housing assistance alone will not...

    Interest in work and self-sufficiency among welfare recipients was heightened among government officials, social service providers, academics, and the general public when Congress enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PWRORA), which changed the focus of the welfare system from income support to work. PRWORA ended the six-decade-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Notable features of the new law include a five-year federal lifetime time limit on cash assistance, stringent work requirements, and conversion of AFDC, an open-ended entitlement, to TANF, a capped block grant. One agency affected by welfare reform is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to one estimate, half of all families with children residing in public housing in the mid-1990s were AFDC recipients (Newman, 1999). The Department has long recognized that its clients face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency, and that housing assistance alone will not enable them to overcome those barriers. Consequently, HUD has encouraged housing providers to find ways to help residents obtain essential supportive services, including education and job training, job placement, child care, and transportation. HUD has a number of programs that could potentially help residents succeed in the new welfare environment. These programs, however, were designed prior to welfare reform and have not been examined systematically in the new welfare environment. The transformation of the welfare system presented HUD with an important opportunity to conduct a preliminary assessment of its programs. As a result, HUD contracted with ICF Consulting and the Lewin Group to review the employment and training components of 13 HUD programs. (author abstract)

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