Evidence-Based Solutions to Ending Family Homelessness

The use of qualitative and quantitative data to inform real-time decision making may seem obvious, but it is not common practice for many in the social service sector. Though we recognize the importance of data in developing agile responses to social issues, we are still working through the creation of an integrated, agile ecosystem that truly closes the gap between evidence and practice.

This system framework recognizes that one organization’s efforts within the homeless system are deeply impacted by the work of others.

We have the opportunity to leverage technologies to do this and yet have much to learn on the implementation side. Without the information mined from the Homeless Management Information System and shelter data or research, and their use in performance management, funding decision-making, and strategic planning, much of today’s progress would not have been achieved. However, in order to truly measure sustainable change, and understand the effectiveness of our system, we need to clearly define success and develop the appropriate metrics to assess it.

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Enhanced Coordinated Entry

An Enhanced Coordinated Entry system provides ACCESS, ASSESSMENT, PRIORITIZATION, and REFERRAL. All of which are essential to effectively combat family homelessness and streamline the process for families to access services. A connectivity platform, the system will be fully-integrated, allowing for faster assistance allocation and ensuring access to the most appropriate services available – no matter where a family presents or what difficulties they face.

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Sometimes families seeking temporary emergency housing do have access to a safe and appropriate place to stay, even if temporarily. It may involve moving in with family or friends, maintaining their current housing, or securing other permanent housing. Proactive Solutions must be readily available for families who do not have other housing options, financial resources, or supports to avoid homelessness. We seek to learn from previous homeless experiences while preventing a family from re-entering the system.

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Temporary Housing Accommodations

Temporary Housing Accomodations are considered short-term and should support the flow from a housing crisis to housing stability. These include:

  • Traditional Emergency Shelters
  • Single or Multi-Family Temporary Housing 
  • Free Hostel-Type Settings
  • Interim Housing/Bridge Housing
  • Transitional Housing 

Click here to see what we support and encourage our community to measure.

Housing Stability and Support Services

Effective homeless response systems reduce barriers to housing and provide voluntary, stable support services for those experiencing a housing crisis. The system prioritizes households based on three service interventions: Housing First, Strengths Based, and Trauma Informed. The plans are individually based and work to create strong connections to community-based organizations including mental/physical health services, employment and income, benefits access, and health and nutrition.