Many communities are faced with high or increasing numbers of homeless families, which can stress service systems that do not have adequate family-oriented supports and services in place. Addressing the needs of homeless families requires a comprehensive service system that can identify and respond to multiple and complex needs. For example, in a previous post, we featured a recent study that highlighted the high rate of trauma among homeless mothers and the relationship between trauma symptom severity and long-term housing instability.
The federal government’s strategy to prevent and end homelessness includes the goal of ending family homelessness by 2020. In an effort to support this goal, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently launched an interactive resource to help communities better address and prevent family homelessness.
Family Connection lays out four strategic areas of action for this mission:
- Developing a centralized or coordinated entry system;
- Using interventions that are tailored to meet the needs of homeless families;
- Connecting families to mainstream benefits and resources;
- Developing and improving evidence-based practices for families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless.
The website provides links to information to support the pursuit of each action area, and USICH plans to continue developing this resource so that it can be used by stakeholders as they address family homelessness in their community.
In addition to the website, USICH also hosted a webinar that introduces Family Connection.
Blog Post Author: Amanda Aykanian, Research and Project Lead at the National Center