An Empirical Investigation of the Determinants of Street Homelessness

Dirk W. Early

March 2005

This study examines the determinants of street homelessness by developing and estimating a model that captures the timing of events that lead to street homelessness. In the model, the first outcome is whether the household is in housing or is homeless. Conditional on being homeless, the second outcome is whether the household enters the shelter system. The results indicate that the probability of being homeless is higher for households with children, when the head has problems with alcohol or illicit drugs, in areas where the rent needed to occupy the lowest level of housing available is high, and for households with younger heads.

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