Reports from the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness

The Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH) researches the causes of family homelessness, the demographics of this growing population, the conditions that make it difficult for homeless families to become self-sufficient, and the programs that are most effective in helping them transition out of poverty. ICPH works with programs and partners across the U.S. to conduct and disseminate this research in order to improve services and influence public policy.

Latest Reports

A Home by Any Other Name: Enhancing Shelters Addresses the Gap in Low-income Housing   9/2012

 Over the past thirty years, the number of low-income Americans has risen as the number of affordable housing rental units has declined. This report explains the factors that contribute to this gap, and how homeless shelters can be part of the solution.

Profiles of Risk No. 10: Father Involvement  8/2012

This brief, the tenth in the “Profiles of Risk” series examining characteristics of homeless families in the United States, explores differences in father involvement by families' housing status. Compared with their stably housed peers, unstably housed children have fathers who are less able to contribute to their well-being; fathers of children who ever experience homelessness are more likely to be young, to be unmarried, to have low incomes, to be incarcerated, and to abuse drugs than the fathers of children who are stably housed. Fathers of unstably housed children make fewer financial contributions and spend less time with their sons and daughters than fathers of stably housed children.


Profiles of Risk No. 9: Child Health

This brief, the ninth in the “Profiles of Risk” series examining characteristics of homeless families in the United States, explores differences in the health of children by their housing status. Children of unstably housed mothers have low birth weight, suffer from asthma, and visit emergency rooms more often than,their stably housed peers. Ever-homeless children also visit dentists less frequently than those who are stably housed, suggesting that children who experience housing instability experience health disparities from an early stage.

Profiles of Risk No. 8: School Readiness
5/2012

This brief, the eighth in the “Profiles of Risk” series examining characteristics of homeless families in the United States, explores differences in the school readiness of children by their housing status. Children who ever experienced homelessness in their first five years exhibit higher behavioral and attention problems and score lower on cognitive tests than their stably housed peers. These findings suggest that children who experience housing instability enter school less ready to learn than their stably housed counterparts.

Profiles of Risk No. 7: Child Care
4/2012

This brief, the seventh in the "Profiles or Risk" series examining characteristics of homeless families in the United States, explores differences in child care by housing status. Ever-homeless women receive child care subsidies less often than their stably housed peers and are the most likely to use informal arrangements that provide few developmental supports for children. Ever-homeless women also report more frequent disruptions of employment or training due to unreliable child care.

The Impact of Food Stamp Benefits on Family Homelessness in New York City
4/2012

In 2010, 50% more New York City families received SNAP benefits, or food stamps, than at the start of the recession in 2007. Unfortunately, these benefits are calculated without accounting for the City’s higher cost of food, depriving these families of the same degree of relief felt elsewhere. This brief outlines how families at risk of homelessness are struggling to balance adequate nutrition with housing costs.

Profiles of Risk No. 6: Maternal Health and Well-being
3/2012

This brief, the sixth in the "Profiles or Risk" series examining characteristics of homeless families in the United States, explores differences in health and health behaviors between unstably housed poor mothers and mothers who maintain stable housing, finding that unstably housed poor mothers experience worse physical and mental health, report more drug use, and are exposed to higher rates of domestic violence than stably housed poor mothers. Notably, some unstably housed women report better outcomes when single, highlighting the importance of relationship status in the lives of homeless women.

Intergenerational Disparities Experienced by Homeless Black Families
3/2012

The stark reality is that black Americans are greatly overrepresented in U.S. homelessness and poverty statistics when compared to whites. In 2010, one out of every 141 black family members stayed in a homeless shelter, a rate seven times higher when compared with persons in white families (one in 990). This brief outlines some of the longstanding and interrelated social and structural issues that leave black families more likely to experience homelessness.

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