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Families - Solutions
|Rapid re-housing with an avenue to access services will provide families with the stability necessary to achieve independence.|
The solution to family homelessness is often rapid re-housing. Providing families immediate access to permanent housing often provides them with the stability necessary to achieve independence. Communities that have paved the road to reducing homelessness among families are continuing the effort to help families who become homeless to quickly return to housing while addressing an increasing demand for services during the recession.
The majority of families who experience homelessness are in shelter for a brief period of time and do not become homeless again. Episodes of family homelessness are typically caused by some unforeseen housing or financial crisis: a death in the family, a medical emergency, abuse in the family. Most families utilize the shelter system until the problem is resolved and are then able to move forward. A small portion of families require more intensive services and longer-term assistance.
Communities across the country have seen dramatic declines in family homelessness by committing political will and resources to the issue. Diverting funds and resources normally dedicated to the existing shelter system toward rapid re-housing and family services has been shown to reduce family homelessness.
Prevention policies can do even more to address family homelessness. Ending the vulnerability of families requires a comprehensive effort focused on the income and work support needs of very poor families and that addresses affordable housing.