Homelessness Prevention

Evaluating the Impact of Emergency Assistance on Homelessness

HPCC Partner Logos

Faculty Affiliates: William Evans, James Sullivan

Partners: Catholic Charities Chicago, All Chicago (formerly the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness)

Locations: Chicago

Policy Issue: Each year more than 2.3 million people experience homelessness, 7.4 million people live “doubled up” with friends or family for economic reasons, and countless others are on the brink of homelessness. The prevalence of homelessness is of particular concern given its strong association with many negative outcomes including higher mortality, higher health care costs and lower educational attainment for children.  Furthermore, homelessness is very costly to society.

Program Description: The Homelessness Prevention Call Center (HPCC) in Chicago takes more than 70,000 calls each year connecting those at risk of homelessness with emergency financial assistance. 

Evaluation: This study examines the impact of financial assistance by exploiting a natural experiment. Our results show that emergency financial assistance reduces homelessness by 76 percent. 

Please see the following to learn more:

     Full Article in Science
     Policy Brief  (118k)
     Infographic  (80k)
     NSF Award  (77k)