QUANTITATIVE EVALUATION OF INTERVENTIONS TO COMBAT CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS: SHORT-TERM VS. LONG-TERM SERVICES
Over the past decade a new type of intervention to combat chronic homelessness has emerged to supplement the traditional emergency shelter model: long-term care that places individuals and families experiencing homelessness directly into permanent housing instead of transitional, time-limited shelter. In this paper, I use Point-in-Time Census and Housing Inventory Count data from HUD to investigate the effectiveness of these interventions in eliminating chronic homelessness. I estimate both Fixed Effects and Pooled OLS models to examine the relationship between use of long-term interventions and counts of chronically homelessness individuals nationwide. These models indicate that a higher share of total services allocated to long-term interventions is associated with a lower count of chronic homelessness, after controlling for grant funding and demographic characteristics. Specifically, a ten-percentage point increase in share of total beds allocated for long-term interventions correlates with a twenty-person reduction in chronic homelessness. No other variables are significant predictors of chronic homeless counts, suggesting that the most important tool for eliminating chronic homelessness is not funds or community characteristics, but rather service type. Therefore, I advocate for increased use of long-term interventions, such as Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing, to best eradicate chronic homelessness in the United States.
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