Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Study Overview


The Longitudinal Study of Homeless Families is a proposed national longitudinal study of exit patterns and shelter requests of homeless families using primary data. The major research questions could include the following:

  • What are the exit patterns from homelessness for families requesting shelter for the first time (e.g., time to exit; residential arrangement upon exit; stability following exit)? How do they compare with families with multiple homeless episodes?12
  • What are the individual and contextual factors13 that facilitate and inhibit exiting homelessness? What are the characteristics of families who are least likely to exit quickly? Most likely to return? What families are most likely to exit quickly on their own? What type and level of service use relate to length of stay in shelter/homelessness?
  • What factors assist a family in preventing the imminent risk of homelessness? What type and level of service use relate to their ability to successfully avoid homelessness?14

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