Federal Homelessness Research Agenda

What would it take to prevent and end homelessness? 

While decades of research have documented effective strategies for helping people exit homelessness (particularly Housing First and Critical Time Intervention), more research is needed to better understand how to scale housing and supportive services. And while communities are increasingly focused on homelessness prevention (including guaranteed basic income, flexible funding pools, and shelter diversion), the research remains limited

In November 2023, USICH published From Evidence to Actionthe first federal homelessness research agenda in more than a decade—to shape federal investments in homelessness research and offer a roadmap for academic researchers, philanthropy, students, and others committed to understanding what works to prevent and end the crisis of homelessness in the United States.

This agenda—which will evolve over time—was developed with significant public input from researchers, people with lived experience of homelessness, national organizations, and experts from federal agencies. 

From Evidence to Action seeks to:

  • Strengthen our nation’s collective base of knowledge on what works to prevent and end homelessness through rigorous qualitative and quantitative evidence
  • Reinforce existing evidence to combat disinformation
  • Align research priorities and prevent fragmentation at both the federal and non-federal levels
  • Facilitate meaningful engagement of and collaboration with a diverse group of funders, researchers, people with lived expertise, and partners at every stage of developing and implementing federal research activities
  • Promote research to address gaps in policy and practice, and facilitate the uptake of evidence by decision makers and service providers
  • Catalyze governmental and non-governmental investment in homelessness research

The agenda focuses on the following topics:

Preventing Homelessness

  • Universal Prevention
  • Targeted Prevention
  • Diversion
  • Screening and Identifying Risk
  • Cost and Scale

Ending Homelessness 

  • Cost  
  • Longitudinal Outcomes
  • Housing and Services
  • Specific Subpopulations
  • Unsheltered Homelessness
  • Lessons Learned From COVID-19 Response

Click to read From Evidence to Action: A Federal Homelessness Research Agenda.

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