Permanent Affordable Housing Key
for Homeless Families
- That 85% of community service providers have seen family homelessness increase in their service area over the past 2 years;
- 93% of respondents stated that most homeless families need services and supports to move into and remain in stable housing; and
- Only 14% stated that housing alone can end family homelessness.
The survey findings include:
- 95% agree that services should start when families enter an emergency shelter and continue when they are permanently housed,
- 94% agree that assessments of each family member are needed,
- 91% agree that assessments should focus on child well-being,
- 97% agree that education, job training, and income supports are necessary, and
- 95% agree that case management to help families secure housing and benefits is necessary.
Providers responded that trauma and mental health conditions are prevalent among homeless families.
- Eighty-eight percent of community providers stated that trauma experienced by mothers is a common cause of homelessness;
- 80% report that many homeless mothers have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse as children and have post-trauma responses as adults;
- 93% agree that addressing the impact of trauma must be part of the solution to end homelessness.
- Ninety-one percent of community providers agree that mental health and substance use services should be available.
- Eighty percent of community providers thought that many homeless mothers have depression that requires treatment.
Providers also responded that homelessness can have harmful effects on children.
- Sixty-nine percent agree that homeless children are unable to keep up with their homework and fall behind in school and
- 70% report that many homeless children have behavioral problems.
- Ninety-seven percent of community providers agreed that parenting supports could improve outcomes for children.
The authors conclude that a comprehensive strategy to end family homelessness should provide permanent affordable housing in the community, support economic self-sufficiency, assess all family members, address trauma-related issues, treat depression in mothers, minimize family separations, provide parenting supports, and address children’s needs.
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