Homelessness, Reports and Publications

New Reports Highlights Homeless Families’ Connection to Mainstream Resources

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE)

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a new homeless families research brief, Are Homeless Families Connected to the Social Safety Net? This analysis utilized data collected from the Family Options Study to examine whether families that are experiencing homelessness used publicly funded benefits and services programs.

The report states that families experiencing homelessness were linked to “social safety net” programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and health insurance, at the same rate as very low-income families at the start of the study. However, homeless families living in shelters were less likely than low-income families to receive Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

After 20 months, the majority of families were no longer experiencing homelessness and the rate of homeless families utilizing mainstream resources and services remained almost the same as other families. Families who had experienced homelessness were less likely to participate in TANF assistance, which might be attributed to time limits policies, sanctions, or increased income, and were more likely to enroll in SSI and SSDI programs. Children between the ages three and four who had experienced homelessness were more likely to be connected to early education or childcare programs than poor children.

This report was created in partnership with the Abt Associates, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is part of a series of new research on families experiencing that will be released over time.

Click here to read the brief.

Click here for the Family Options Study


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