Online Program

Policies and perceptions: Implications for service delivery to homeless families s/a

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Elizabeth C. Grim, BA, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Barbara L. Brush, PhD, ANP-BC, FAAN, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI
Laura Gultekin, PhD, FNP-BC, RN, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 239,403 family members were homeless in the United States during 2012, a notable increase since 2011. In fact, at 41% of the total homeless population, families represent one of the fastest growing subpopulations of the nation's homeless. Family homelessness is associated with poor physical, mental, social, and educational outcomes for both parents and children. Thus, increased rates of family homelessness and housing instability produce unforeseen social and health costs to communities nationwide. Increasing rates of family homelessness suggest that current policies and interventions targeting homeless families are insufficient. Although much is known about the demographic characteristics and health outcomes of homeless families, few studies have explored the ways in which local, state, and national policies impact homeless organizations' delivery of services. The present study aimed to explicate this linkage. Using semi-structured interviews, the researchers gathered information from the Executive Directors and Chief Executive Officers of five homeless service organizations in Southeast Michigan. Results from this exploratory study will provide researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with a deeper understanding of the challenges homeless providers experience, particularly as it relates to women and children. Because of the complex relationship between housing stability and health, these results highlight potential avenues for policy change to more adequately meet the unique needs of one of our nation's most vulnerable and growing homeless populations.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the ways in which policies impact homeless service delivery.

Keyword(s): Homelessness, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Masters candidate at the University of Michigan in the Schools of Public Health and Social Work. I am currently conducting research on family homelessness prevention with the University of Michigan School of Nursing under the advisement of Dr. Barbara Brush. In addition, I have worked as both the program assistant and program director of a homeless shelter for women and children. My scientific interests are the prevention of homelessness and housing/homelessness policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.