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|On any given night, almost 85,000 families are homeless. Rapid re-housing and prevention policies can end family homelessness.|
For many communities, the effort to reduce homelessness among families is becoming more and more difficult in the face of the current economic downturn, as they see increased demand in the face of reduced resources. However, many communities had made progress in reducing family homelessness prior to the recession and are continuing to implement those proven strategies most effective at ending family homelessness.
Fortunately, the vast majority of families are in shelter for a relatively brief period of time and do not become homeless again. As a result, preventing family homelessness from occurring in the first place and then rapidly re-housing those families that do become homeless has been shown to be extremely effective. Some families, though, experience multiple homeless episodes and may require more intensive, sustained support to ensure that they do not become homeless again.
Ending families’ vulnerability to homelessness requires a comprehensive policy that attends to housing affordability for very poor families and to their income and work support needs. That policy agenda includes: