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
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
Among the studies reviewed, there are three data sets that hold the greatest promise for informing these typology efforts. These data sets include the NSAF, Women's Employment Study, and the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study. The best prospect is the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, which has the following strengths:
The current homelessness research provides an extensive understanding of currently homeless families' characteristics and service needs and, to some degree, the patterns of residential instability they faced prior to becoming homeless. However, as a whole, the existing studies lack geographic diversity and do not provide the ability to understand
The remaining four data sets examined are from studies that contain data on specific populations in selected areas of the country. Three of the studies are focused on low-income families in one or more selected cities across the country. One study, the Chicago Women's Health Risk Study (CWHRS), includes a one-time sample of women in Chicago seekin