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Opening doors for all American youth? Evidence for Federal homelessness policy

Shelton, Katherine Helen ORCID:, Mackie, Peter Kelso ORCID:, van den Bree, Marianne Bernadette ORCID:, Taylor, Pamela Jane ORCID: and Evans, Sarah Louise 2012. Opening doors for all American youth? Evidence for Federal homelessness policy. Housing Policy Debate 22 (3) , pp. 483-504. 10.1080/10511482.2012.683034

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It is estimated that on a single night in January 2009, there were 643,067 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in America (The 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress 2010). The Obama administration recently published “Opening Doors,” the first federal plan to prevent and end homelessness. We argue that the strategy is based on a partial evidence base that raises questions about the potential of the strategy to meet its goals. In order to inform future iterations of the plan, data from 682 young adults (aged 18–27 years old; mean = 22.13 years old) who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to examine whether there is a typologys of young adults with a history of homelessness; one of the priority groups in the strategy. A priori selected variables previously associated with lifetime homelessness in non-random samples were mapped to survey items. Data were analyzed using cluster analysis. Comparisons were conducted with a randomly selected “never-homeless” sample from the same study. The cluster analysis revealed four subgroups. It appears that the Federal Plan currently prioritizes homelessness risk factors associated with two subgroups: the Young Offenders subgroup and the Abused Depressed subgroup. The needs of two other subgroups are not fully addressed: the Childhood Adversity subgroup and the Vulnerable African-American subgroup. The authors offer guidance on future directions for homelessness policy relevant to young adults.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Uncontrolled Keywords: homeless, populations, demographics, policy
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1051-1482
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2023 06:22

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