Doctor of Public Administration
Public Policy & Administration
Gary T. Johnson
A comprehensive homeless policy includes emergency housing, transitional housing, permanent housing, and prevention components. Researchers have determined that all four categories of homeless assistance are essential to address the needs of the diverse groups that comprise the homeless population.
This dissertation focuses on the prevention component which is designed to assist those in marginal economic circumstances who experience an unavoidable housing crisis. Several states have state-sponsored and state-funded homeless prevention programs.
The Commonwealth of Virginia authorized funding for the Homeless Intervention Program (HIP) in FY 1989-90. A Short-Term Study of the first group of participants conducted by Johnson, Brooks, Hambrick, and Richardson (1991) provided evidence that the 1989-90 participants remained in stable housing for six months after leaving the program. The Longer-Term Study discussed in this dissertation was conducted four years after the participants received HIP assistance and involved enrollees from two of the eight original program sites. The data were gathered through the use of mail and telephone surveys and focused interviews. The results indicate that HIP contributed to the housing stability of the majority of the longer-term study participants who have, in the four years since receiving HIP assistance, remained housing self-sufficient. This study recognizes the implications of the time dimension in program evaluation as put forth by Salamon (1976). Accordingly, in addition to ascertaining whether there was a diminishment in the staying power of HIP, other program results more closely associated with latent and sleeper effects were uncovered.
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