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The Homeless Families Research Briefs: Combatting Homelessness with Data


  • HHS wanted Abt’s help to connect homeless families to benefits.
  • Abt produced 10 research briefs addressing homelessness and families.
  • The Research Briefs project dove deeper into previous Abt research.
The Challenge

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plays a key role in connecting homeless families to benefits, employment and other services needed to help them find housing and work toward self-sufficiency. The Homeless Families Research Briefs project, led by Abt Global for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, produced a series of 10 research briefs examining children and families affected by homelessness.

The Approach

The project leveraged data already collected by Abt for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Family Options Study. The Family Options Study collected information from 2,282 families who had spent at least seven days in emergency shelters in 12 communities nationwide. Abt further analyzed several data sources from the study for the research briefs, including baseline data collected by interview at the time that families were recruited into the study, follow-up surveys of families 20 and 37 months after they entered the study and administrative data covering families’ use of homeless shelters and housing programs and their employment.

North America