The first report analyzing family homelessness and homeless shelters using the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ internal data was released on Thursday, February 23, 2017. The Boston Foundation funded Westat in this research effort. Debra Rog, PhD, a Westat Vice President and a coauthor of the report, was one of several panelists featured on a Boston Foundaton live stream webinar to discuss the research results.
The data from the research will help policymakers and shelter providers craft policies and programs that help homeless families find the stable housing that will allow them to thrive.
The report it titled The Growing Challenge of Family Homelessness: Homeless Assistance for Families in Massachusetts Trends in Use FY2008-2016 (PDF Format). In addition to Dr. Rog, authors include Kathryn A. Henderson, PhD, Westat; Andrew L. Greer, PhD, Westat; Kathryn M. Kulbicki, Westat; and Linda Weinreb, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The report analyzes data from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and notes basic issues about family homelessness and shelter usage, including
- Demographics of families in shelter over time
- Types of assistance they receive
- Length of time they stay
- Which families stay the longest and any regional differences
Other panelists at the webinar included
- Rose Evans, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Deputy Undersecretary
- Libby Hayes, Homes for Families Executive Director
- Shiela Moore, Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center CEO
- Debbie Thiele, Corporation for Supportive Housing Director