This brief provides a snapshot of the 210,266 people in families—meaning households with adults and dependent children—who were served by homelessness programs that reported data to the Homeless Data Integration System (HDIS) between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2021. Over half of these families (54 percent) were headed by a single adult identifying as female and nearly three quarters (71 percent) of the adults in families identified as female. Large shares of this population (80 percent of adults and 85 percent of children) were People of Color (a race and ethnicity other than White, non-Hispanic/non-Latinx). Families with children experience homelessness differently than adults in households without children, and many homelessness organizations and programs are designed specifically to serve families. Compared to adults without children, higher shares of families enrolled in homelessness prevention (23 percent vs 7 percent) and rapid re-housing programs (47 percent vs 16 percent). Smaller shares of families in the data were served by street outreach (3 percent vs 34 percent) or stayed in emergency shelters (35 percent vs 48 percent). At the end of the study period, 69 percent of people in families with children were recorded as being housed, compared with 35 percent of adults without children.
Families with Children Served by California’s Homelessness Programs
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California Berkeley