Center for Urban Research and Learning

Loyola University Chicago

Here you will find all of CURL's research projects and publications. 

Consultation to the Metropolitan Battered Women's Network

(2016)

The Domestic Violence Outcome Project had a two-fold purpose: first, to identify the long-term outcomes and needs of those who receive services from domestic violence agencies, and second, to establish procedures for on-going evaluation within agencies. Working closely with 15 agencies that are members of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, the researchers developed a survey to evaluate services and identify client needs. The services evaluated included court advocacy (e.g., assistance from an advocate in obtaining an order of protection), legal services (assistance from a licensed attorney with divorce or other court proceedings), emergency shelter, and counseling.

Development of the survey benefited greatly from extensive feedback from service providers and clients and from previous evaluation research. The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network and the participating agencies administered the survey, which had both an on-line and paper option. Agency staff recruited participants, maintained contact with them over about 6 months, and then had them complete the survey. Here we present findings from analysis of data provided by 450 participants. We also include a discussion of the challenges encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies.

One of the key findings of this report is that emergency safety needs (i.e., emergency shelter and getting an order of protection) are no longer the most prominent issues of concern for participants. Fewer than 5% of the sample reported currently needing shelter and fewer than 10% reported needing help getting an order of protection. In contrast, counseling/therapy is now the primary need reported by about 46% of participants. In addition, about a quarter of participants reported a need for help with those things that enable one to sustain a stable and independent household, which is critical to maintaining safety: economic assistance, either in the form of emergency cash, help with credit history, financial planning/literacy, food/clothing, health care, or work. Also, a sizeable minority of participants reported needs (both new and continuing from when they initially sought services) regarding divorce, child support, and visitation. These legal issues are likely to be related to the one outstanding safety concern reported by a substantial minority of survivors, managing contact with the abuser. Few differences among reported needs existed by race/ethnicity, parenting status, or level of socioeconomic resources.

This report begins with a brief introduction to how the project came about and a description of our research methods. Next we present the current needs reported by participants and consider whether there are differences in needs among participants by race/ethnicity, education and income resources, and whether or not they have children. We then examine the relationship of past services to current needs and satisfaction with past services. After that, we consider outcomes of receiving services (e.g., “As a result of receiving services, I feel safe from violence in my home”). Finally, we describe difficulties encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies, such as high staff 7 turnover rates and the need for a program coordinator to maintain staff motivation. We conclude with a summary of the findings.

Download Report Domestic Violence Outcomes Measures Project

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HIV Housing Helps End Homelessness and HIV/AIDS in the United States

(2016)

This chapter addresses the syndemic relationship between HIV/AIDS and homelessness or precarious housing. We focus nationally on the United States, and conclude with a case study from the city of Chicago. This chapter reviews a wide number of studies which demonstrate that homelessness or unstable housing greatly impacts the health and overall well-being of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Studies show an interrelationship between HIV status and housing status—people with HIV/AIDS are at risk of housing insecurity and homelessness due to a number of economic and income factors, while homelessness or housing insecurity is often associated with sex and drug use behaviors that place individual at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. This chapter discusses the U.S. federal policies and strategies enacted to curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to support low-income individuals with HIV/AIDS. Research shows that stable housing is key to achieving the goals of strategies and is associated with improved health outcomes for those with HIV/AIDS. In addition to better health outcomes, stable housing and supportive services for low-income individuals with chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS is associated with reduced medical costs. Finally, this chapter describes the experiences of formerly homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS and on Medicaid who are enrolled in a supportive housing program in Chicago. Through this case study, we explore the impact of the supportive housing program on these individuals’ health behavior and status and overall well-being.

Team:

Link to Book Chapter, Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States, "HIV Housing Helps End Homelessness and HIV/AIDS in the United States"

Merger Evaluation: ONE Northside

(2015)

CURL and ONE Northside produced a paper examining two grassroots organizations' need to scale up size and influence to better address the more regional and nationwide business and government decision-making structures.  This is the first report for the project. 

Download Report Scaling Up to Increase Community-Based Organization Voice

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Evaluation of the Cook county State's Attorney's Office Deferred Prosecution Program

(2015)

This project funded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) was a process and outcome evaluation of the Cook County State's Attorney's Deferred Prosecution Program.

The topics of evidence-based programming and diversion programming are areas of continued interest with the criminal justice system in Illinois. This evaluation assisted in guiding ICJIA policy and practices and was conducted by an interdisciplinary team from CURL, Criminology and Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.

Download Final Report An Evaluation of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office Deferred Prosecution Program

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Evaluation of Security-Deposit Assistance Program For Low-Income Residents In Milwaukee

(2015)

This report examined a security deposit assistance program in Milwaukee that uses the incentive to encourage low-income residents to move to higher opportunity, lower poverty neighborhoods. Funded by the Washington DC-based Poverty Race Research Action Council, CURL partnered with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council in completing this project.

In January 2015, the report was published in the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) Civil Rights Research journal.   The report provides evidence that security deposit incentives do help in encouraging low-income families to move to new mixed-income communities providing greater educational, employment, and quality of life opportunities.

Download Final ReportTake a Chance on Me: A Review of the Milwaukee County Security Deposit Assistance Program

Works in Progress: Searching for Solutions to the Difficulty Problems of Homelessness

(2014)

CURL Research faculty, Christine George, and former CURL Fellow, Jennifer Chernega, co-edited a special edition of the Journal of Poverty  titled Housing the Homeless: Emerging Research on Programs and Policies.  Within the issue they also published an article, “Works in Progress: Searching for Solutions to the Difficulty Problems of Homelessness.”

Download Journal ArticleWorks in Progress: Searching for Solutions to the Difficulty Problems of Homelessness

View copy of the journal special issue.

Immigration: Undocumented Students in Higher Education

(2013)

The project seeks to better understand challenges and obstacles faced by undocumented students at Jesuit universities and ways of eliminating those barriers.  This project was done in collaboration with Fairfield UniversitySanta Clara University and Loyola University Chicago.

Download AJCU Presidents' Statement  Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Presidents' Statement - January 2013

Download Executive Summary Immigrant Student National Position Paper Executive Summary 

Download Final Report Immigrant Student National Position Paper Report on Findings

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Evaluation of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Chicago

(2012)

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) partnered with CURL to conduct a process evaluation of the Chicago 100,000 Homes Campaign, with a focus on outreach and housing coordination. Qualitative analysis consisted of observations, telephone and in person interviews, as well as, focus groups. Quantitative analysis consisted of analyzing participant data and administrative records. The evaluation is informing key stakeholders of Chicago’s homeless system in their efforts to develop a centralized housing placement system citywide. 

Download Executive Summary Evaluation of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Chicago Final Report – Executive Summary

Download Final Report Evaluation of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Chicago Final Report

Download Quantitative Data Report Evaluation of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Chicago Final Quantitative Data Report

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Evaluation of Chicago's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness

(2012)

Working with various social service agencies that provide homelessness services, the research team evaluated the programs and models that have been put into place under the Chicago 10 year Plan to end Homelessness and provide data to make necessary mid-course corrections and improve implementation going forward. The four key components of the project are a qualitative study of homeless clients, a longitudinal client survey, a homeless service agency survey, and a service inventory. 

Initial Results 

Interim Results

Final Results

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Evaluation of Catholic Charities' Homelessness Prevention Call Center

(2011)

CURL and Catholic Charities’ research team conducted a process evaluation of the Catholic Charities Homelessness Prevention Call Center’s daily operations, the experience of callers through the Call Center system, the efficiency level of Call Center policies, and system best practices. This evaluation will inform future Call Center planning and programming. Community partners include the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the Chicago Continuum of Care along with the City of Chicago’s 311 service

Download Full Report Evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center

Download Summary Report Evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center

Dowload PowerPoint Presentation Evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center

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