Homelessness prevention is typically provided through one-time cash assistance coupled with case management services and a connection to a legal services provider where appropriate. While prevention can be effective at reducing homelessness, it is difficult to target these services only to the people that truly need them because homelessness is statistically a rare outcome, even among people living in poverty. Predictive models and empirically validated screening tools that ask about known risk factors could help target these programs more effectively and research has found that even the highest-risk individuals and families benefit from these one-time assistance programs. Finally, to be effective, prevention programs must respond to emerging crises rapidly, often within a matter of days.
Fact Sheet: What Research Says About Homeless Prevention Policy Programs
California Policy Lab