Housing & Communities

Reducing & Preventing Homelessness

Homeless
Abt Associates has been at the forefront of research and technical assistance to reduce and prevent homelessness for more than a decade.
 
Abt’s research and analysis helps policymakers understand the magnitude and causes of homelessness and measure the impact and cost effectiveness of homeless assistance programs and of interventions for systems change at the community-level. Our many studies in progress include:
 
  • The development of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress;
  • An evaluation of the Conrad Hilton Foundation’s initiative to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles;
  • A random assignment evaluation for HUD of options for helping families in shelter gain long-term housing stability; and
  • A random assignment evaluation for HHS of the impact of the Transitional Living Program for Homeless Youth.
 
Abt works closely with federal clients, including HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to help their grantees implement federal initiatives designed to prevent and end homelessness. We also help communities and nonprofit organizations nationwide build capacity to manage homeless prevention and homeless assistance programs, transform homeless systems, implement homeless management information systems, and measure program performance.
 
Senior Abt researchers and technical assistance providers in the area of homelessness include Brooke Spellman, Tom Albanese, Matt White, Alvaro Cortes, Jill Khadduri, and Gretchen Locke.


Impact

UNITED STATES: Does offering homeless families vouchers create housing stability?

 

Historically, there are very few resources available to homeless persons, making it imperative that services and interventions provide maximum return on investment. To evaluate the types of housing and services interventions currently available, Abt Associates is conducting a randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of four distinct interventions. Eighteen months after randomly assigning 2,300 families to one of four options—permanent housing subsidy, project-based transitional housing, short-term rental assistance, or usual care assistance—Abt conducted interviews with 81 percent of the sample. The study team is analyzing the results of the survey to estimate impacts on housing stability; self-sufficiency; adult well-being; child well-being; and family preservation. Study results will be available in 2015.
CLIENT: HUD / PROJECT: The Family Options Study