Homeless families in Charlotte, North Carolina
Vanderford, Stephanie Eichenbrenner
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The research described in this dissertation explores homelessness among families that were clients of A Child’s Place in Charlotte, North Carolina from three perspectives. First, it describes in detail a sample of homeless families and compares them to a sample of families that were considered at risk of becoming homeless because they were facing imminent eviction or foreclosure. Second, it uses Cox’s proportional hazards model to analyze the effects of various family-level characteristics on families’ rates of exit from homelessness. Finally, it explores differences between homeless families that lived in shelters and homeless families that did not live in shelters. One key finding relates to the importance of employment, both in distinguishing homeless families from at-risk families and in helping families exit homelessness. In other important ways, however, homeless families and families at risk of homelessness were very similar. Recommendations for future research are made, including the suggestion that more emphasis should be placed on tracking families throughout their homeless episodes, regardless of where they live.