Expert Panel members all agreed that more than one typology relevant to homeless families would be needed, depending on the purposes for developing the particular typology. After much discussion, four possible goals for a typology were summarized:
- Prevention Policy. One goal for a typology of homeless families would be to identify the risk factors for homelessness. Most participants agreed this goal should be a priority because it would strive to minimize the population.
- Services Policy. A typology that would guide services policy would identify the menu of services needed to help homeless families. However, this could potentially blur the lines of services for the general poor population.
- Resource Allocation. This goal would result in a typology that would help us understand homelessness epidemiologically and guide the allocation of available resources/money locally.
- Treatment Matching. This design would have the ability to predict the services and housing that a particular family needs from a clinical provider perspective. Different approaches have been implemented at the local level, usually following a basic model of three levels: one, a family needs support services; two, a family needs just housing, and three, a family needs both housing and support services. Unlike the service policy typology, a typology to guide treatment matching would be developed primarily for service providers rather than for policymakers.