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PublicationHelp in Time: An Evaluation of Philadelphia's Community-Based Homelessness Prevention Program(1999-12-01) Wong, Yin-Ling I; Culhane, Dennis P; Metraux, Stephen; Koppel, Meg; Hillier, Amy; Eldridge, David E; Lee, Helen RThis report provides an evaluation of Philadelphia's neighborhood-based homelessness prevention initiative. Results indicate that nearly all households served do not become homeless. But it is unclear if households would have become homeless had they not been served. Recommendations are made for targeting prevention interventions to families requesting shelter. PublicationRearranging the Deck Chairs or Reallocating the Lifeboats?: Homelessness Assistance and Its Alternatives(2008-01-01) Culhane, Dennis P; Metraux, StephenProblem: At present, homelessness in the United States is primarily addressed by providing emergency and transitional shelter facilities. These programs do not directly address the causes of homelessness, and residents are exposed to victimization and trauma during stays. We need an alternative that is more humane, as well as more efficient and effective at achieving outcomes. Purpose: This article uses research on homelessness to devise alternative forms of emergency assistance that could reduce the prevalence and/or duration of episodes of homelessness and much of the need for emergency shelter. Methods: We review analyses of shelter utilization patterns to identify subgroups of homeless single adults and families with minor children, and propose alternative program models aimed at the particular situations of each of these subgroups. Results and conclusions: We argue that it would be both more efficient and more humane to reallocate resources currently devoted to shelters. We propose the development of community-based programs that instead would focus on helping those with housing emergencies to remain housed or to quickly return to housing, and be served by mainstream social welfare programs. We advocate providing shelter on a limited basis and reserving transitional housing for individuals recently discharged from institutions. Chronic homelessness should be addressed by permanent supportive housing. PublicationHomeless Shelter Use and Reincarceration Following Prison Release(2004-01-01) Metraux, Stephen; Culhane, Dennis PThis paper examines the incidence of and interrelationships between shelter use and reincarceration among a cohort of 48,424 persons who were released from New York State prisons to New York City in 1995-1998. Results show that, within two years of release, 11.4% of the study group was again imprisoned. Using survival analysis methods, time since prison release and history of residential instability were the most salient risk factors related to shelter use, and shelter use increased the risk of subsequent reincarcerations.