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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 3 | International Commentary: Eliminating Family Homelessness and the Family Options Study


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Family Options Study

Volume 19, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

International Commentary: Eliminating Family Homelessness and the Family Options Study

Geoffrey Nelson
Wilfrid Laurier University

For this commentary, I reviewed the report on the 3-year outcomes of the Family Options Study (Gubits et al., 2016a, 2016b) and two articles (Shinn, Brown, and Gubits, 2016; Shinn et al., 2016) published on this study. In this commentary, I discuss the interventions and their underlying theories of change, the target group, methodological issues, the findings, and the policy implications of the study. The Family Options Study is an evaluation of different program options for families experiencing homelessness. The study was conducted in 12 communities, enrolled 2,282 participants, and used a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. This study is, by far, the largest, most rigorous comparative evaluation of interventions for homeless families ever conducted anywhere. As such, it has important policy implications for how homeless families are best served.

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