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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3010.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 9:10 AM

Abstract #108106

Hidden homeless families: Doubled-up and in trouble

Eleni Rodis, MS1, Hsiu-Ju Lin, PhD2, Linda Frisman, PhD1, and Jennifer Schuster, MA3. (1) Connecticut Dept. Of Mental Health and Addiction Services, 410 Capitol Avenue, PO Box 341431, MS #14 RSD, Hartford, CT 06134, (860) 418-6663, eleni.rodis@po.state.ct.us, (2) Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS # 14 RSD, Hartford, CT 06106, (3) Psychology, University of Connecticut, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS # 14 RSD, Hartford, CT 06106

In many cases, people are not considered to be homeless unless they are living outdoors or in shelters (homeless, domestic violence or family shelters). This definition excludes people who are “doubled up”, i.e., temporarily staying with relatives, friends or others because they have nowhere else to go. In a study testing an intervention for homeless families in Connecticut, part of the SAMHSA Homeless Families Program, both shelter residents and women who were doubled-up were included (N= 191). Contrary to expectations, analysis of the Connecticut data reveals that women with children who are living in a doubled-up situation were more disadvantaged than family shelter residents on a number of important variables. At baseline, the doubled-up sample was found to have a longer history of homelessness, more criminal justice involvement, less education, less income, more substance abuse, and a less intact family. Also, the children were reported to have more problems. The family shelter residents were more likely to have mental health problems and a history of associated treatment, to be white and to have been married. Preliminary analyses indicate that the women living in emergency shelters have similar baseline characteristics to those at family shelters. With the exception of employment, greater improvements in the doubled-up population over time were a result of lower levels of need in the shelter group.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Concerns of Homeless Families and Children

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA