United Power for Action and Justice: Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness Reports - Policy Brief
With funding from Department of Health and Human Services secured by United Power for Action and Justice, CURL partnered with Chicago Health Outreach, Deborah’s Place and Lakefront SRO to evaluate their systems integration demonstration project. The overall goal of the demonstration project was to break the cycle of homelessness by providing services in a coordinated fashion.
This report documents lessons learned through demonstration projects fielded in the City of Chicago and Oak Park, August 2001 – December 2002. A total of 2,712 individuals were served by ten agencies in the course of the project. Over half of the individuals served were female, African-American, between the ages of 36 and 65, with an education level between the ninth and twelfth grades, and residing in shelters at the outset of the project.
Five lessons were learned from the project:
- Supportive services break the cycle of homelessness.
- Supportive services boost treatment rates as much as 450%.
- Lack of affordable housing perpetuates homelessness.
- Stable employment is difficult but possible with consistent support over time.
- Stable funding is critical.
An evaluation report, “Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness Demonstration Project – An Evaluation,” demonstrated the possibilities of systems integration among the three organizations and their services.
In addition, the team produced a policy paper “Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness Demonstration Project – Policy Report.”
- C. George, CURL
- J. Hoereth, CURL
- C. Sabina, Graduate Fellow, Psychology
- A. Sharma, Graduate Fellow, Psychology