Ending Family Homelessness: Lessons From Communities



Solutions Brief | July 27, 2010

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This paper provides an overview of family homelessness in the United States. It examines the key strategies that communities are implementing to respond to increased family housing instability and homelessness. It also discusses the need for federal leadership.

Key Strategies for Ending Family Homelessness
In the years since the Alliance profiled six communities that reduced family homelessness in Promising Strategies to End Family Homelessness (2006), more communities have adopted the strategies that were key to their success. The onset of the recession and new resources dedicated to ending family homelessness have facilitated the adoption of these strategies and the growth of new approaches. By monitoring successful communities, the Alliance has identified six key strategies critical to ending family homelessness.

  • Prevention assistance
  • Rapid Re-Housing
  • Helping families pay for housing
  • Strategic use of services
  • Coordinated intake, assessment, and services
  • Data for planning and program management 

With new HPRP resources and sharp increases in requests for assistance, the strategies that were successful in reducing homelessness in better economic times are being replicated, expanded, and adapted to a wide variety of communities—urban, suburban and rural—to respond to increased needs. With each community’s adaptation, refinements are being made and new lessons emerge.