Addressing Family Homelessness: Presentations from the August 2012 NAWRS Conference

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Conference Presentation | October 15, 2012

Files: Targeting Homeless Prevention by Seth Diamond (PDF | 1.7 MB | 16 slides) Partnerships with TANF and Homeless Providers by Helen Thatcher (PDF | 197 KB | 9 slides) How Data Are Informing Interventions and Improving Assistance to Homeless TANF Families by Babette Roberts (PDF | 645 KB | 7 slides)

Family homelessness was included among the topics of discussion at the National Association  for Welfare Research and Statistics conference in August, 2012. Speakers included Seth Diamond, New York City Commissioner of Homeless Services; Helen Thatchers, Program Design and Implementation Manager with Utah Department of Workforce Services; and Babette Roberts, Director of Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

In his presentation "Targeting Homelessness Prevention," Seth Diamond reviewed findings from the first experimental study of a homeless prevention program. He discussed how the agency uses data to inform the design and targeting of prevention resources. This includes targeting specific neighborhoods and blocks where there is a heightened risk of homelessness as well as developing a family assessment tool to identify those families at greatest risk of homelessness.

In her presentation "Partnerships with TANF and Homeless Providers," Helen Thatcher discussed how the goals of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agency administrators align with the goal of ending family homelessness. She provided an overview of how Utah Department of Workforce Services uses TANF resources to support homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing efforts. She also highlighted the agency's partmership with The Road Home is Salt Lake City. With financial support from Workforce Services and co-located employment specialists that work closely with the rapid re-housing team, The Road Home has re-housed over 1,000 Utah families.

In her presentation, "How Data Are Informing Interventions and Improving Assistance to Homeless TANF Families," Babette Roberts explored how TANF and HMIS data can be used to improve services to at-risk and homeless families. When cross-analyzing TANF and HMIS data systems, the state fouhnd that families in which a substance abuse problem are twice as likely to experience homelessness, and that children of homeless parents are more likely to live with a non-parental caretaker. Roberts discussed Washington's efforts to reform their TANF program to ensure that families are matched with the level of supportive services that they need to achieve parents' employment goals.

The powerpoint presentations for this workshop are available for download above in the form of PDF files.