The national cross-sectional surveys currently in operation are designed to provide current information on various topics (e.g., the percentage of the population currently working, health status of people, or the extent of illegal substance abuse). These surveys typically collect information on a large number of people in order to be able to provi
Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Overview of National Survey Efforts
A number of national surveys are regularly conducted to address a myriad of information needs.
As noted in previous chapters, the current literature provides an extensive understanding of the characteristics and service needs of currently homeless families, yet there remain substantial knowledge gaps that make it difficult to develop an accurate and useful typology of homeless families. These gaps include the following:
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For the purposes of some Federal definitions, being doubled up is considered homelessness whereas in other programs it is not.
As noted, several suggestions on how the Fragile Families data set could be used for future research include looking more closely at geographic differences, as well as taking advantage of the next wave of surveys. More broadly, this reanalysis has shown the utility of looking at a broader range of families that may be at risk of becoming homeless.
The relatively poor fit of the logistic regression models, examining both homelessness and residential stability, limits how much guidance this reanalysis of the Fragile Families database can provide for developing a typology of homeless families. The results do suggest that mental health and substance use issues (and to a lesser degree, domestic
Although not designed to provide information on homeless families, the Fragile Families database has provided information that is useful in filling some of our knowledge gaps with respect to homeless families. One important gap that this data set helps fill is providing information on a national sample of homeless families, rather than being restr
Several important qualifications need to be kept in mind when reviewing all of these findings. One issue is the relatively small number of households in this poverty sample that were ever homeless during the period examined (less than 100). The small number of cases limits how much can be said even descriptively about these families. In addition,
The reanalysis of the Fragile Families database shows that even among women who are extremely poor (at or below 50% of the poverty level), the risk of being homeless is not very large. Using a very broad definition of homelessness, less than one in ten (8%) of the women in this poverty sample indicated that they had been homeless for even 1 night
The 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients: A Comparison of Faith-Based and Secular Non-Profit Programs. Clients of Homeless Assistance Programs
NSHAPC asked program administrators a number of questions about the clients of their programs, including whether “on an average day in February 1996 that the [emergency shelter or other type of] program operated, did the program serve (1) families with children (follow-up questions ask what share were single- versus two-parent, and among the sin
Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Predicting Residential Stability and Homelessness
A second set of analyses were performed to answer the questions:
Descriptive analyses were conducted with all of the variables shown in Table 5-2 . These analyses were conducted to examine differences among the combined residential groups on the range of variables listed in Table 5-2 . Alcohol and drug use were combined to create a single substance use variable. Several measures of mental health status — c
Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Potential Risk and Protective Factors
Variables to be examined were selected in part based on characteristics that were found to be important in past research along with those proposed by members of an Expert Panel, convened to guide the conceptualization of the typology (a detailed meeting summary is included in Chapter 3 ).
Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Creating and Describing Residential Outcome Groups
Detailed residential information was collected on participants in the Fragile Families study at the Year 1 and Year 3 followup surveys. This residential information found in each survey included:
The Fragile Families data set includes families from diverse income backgrounds, ranging from those far beneath the income poverty level to those who have relatively high levels of income. For an analysis examining the risk factors for homelessness, it is important that the groups being compared have an equivalent probability of experiencing the c
The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, also referred to as the "The Survey of New Parents," is designed to track a cohort of new parents and their children over a 5-year period. The purpose of the study is to provide new information on the strengths, conditions, and relationships of both wed and unwed parents and how Federal and state po
As noted in Chapter 4 , through an extensive review of existing data sets, a data set was identified with potential for informing the development of a typology of homeless families. The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (Reichman, N.E., Teitler, J.O., Garfinkel, I., McLanahan, S., 2001) follows a birth cohort of new parents and their ch