Marybeth Shinn to talk on homelessness prevention for families at CHP conference

CHP’s conference is happening in less than five weeks! Over two days there’ll be opportunities to explore aspects of homelessness from breaking the link between homelessness and family violence, through working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients as well as affordable housing. However, we all agree that preventing homelessness is the most desirable result. Therefore our keynote speaker, Marybeth (Beth) Shinn from Vanderbilt University, will be talking about her research on homelessness prevention for families, the results of which have since been adopted by the city of New York.

Ms Shinn’s research developed and evaluated an empirical* risk model that aims to target homelessness prevention services more efficiently. The study, which followed over 11,000 families in New York City between 2004 and 2008, found that using the model can increase the efficiency of homelessness prevention services. The model was created using 15 risk factors which included gender, education level, housing situation, disability, age, domestic violence and history with services.

The authors conclude that despite various limitations of the study, the most efficient approach to prevention is to offer services to families who are at the highest empirical risk, and doing this could increase correct targeting by 26%.  On top of this, the number of families missed could be decreased by nearly two thirds. Given that homeless populations and services vary from place to place, the authors recommend following their process to develop locally appropriate models, rather than using their exact model. The full report can be downloaded here.

At the conference Ms Shinn will talk about this research and how it can be applied locally, as well as opportunities to discuss the work. The conference website has more information on our speakers and the overall program.  You can also register online.

*empirical models are those based on knowledge from investigation, observations and experience as opposed to theoretical models.