Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Study Overview


The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a longitudinal, cross-regional study of families using homeless shelters. Using the HMIS universal data elements, the following questions can be investigated:

  • Are there regional differences in the number and demographic characteristics of homeless families?
  • How large are various subgroups of homeless families, such as families that return to shelters and two-parent families?
  • What is the length of stay for various demographic and regional subgroups of families?
  • What are the demographic characteristics of families that return to shelter?

Using the program-specific HMIS data elements:

  • What are the needs of different subgroups of families?
  • What services do homeless families use? Are there differences among various subgroups with respect to their service needs and homeless patterns?
  • Is there a relationship between family characteristics, services received, and time until exit and type of destination?

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