Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness

The number of families and children experiencing homelessness in the United States has steadily increased over the last three decades. Homelessness is more than the loss of housing; it represents disconnection from relationships, possessions, reassuring routines, neighborhoods, and community. The impact on families - and especially on children - can be devastating and frequently leaves long-lasting and profound scars. Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness: Current Practices and Future Directions, a new book that aims to raise the standard of services provided to families who are homeless, includes contributions from several staff at The National Center.

Depression in Homeless Mothers: Addressing an Unrecognized Public Health Issue

Depression in Homeless Mothers: Addressing an Unrecognized Public Health Issue, an article co-authored by The National Center's founder Dr. Ellen Bassuk, is featured in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Volume 81(1), 73-81):

"Homeless mothers experience disproportionately high rates of major depressive disorder compared with the general population. Stressed by their circumstances, these women struggle to protect their families. Children living with a depressed parent have poorer medical, mental health, and educational outcomes. Despite the adverse impact on children, depression among mothers experiencing homelessness remains unacknowledged, unrecognized, and untreated.

This article reviews the evidence supporting preventive and therapeutic interventions with low-income and homeless mothers and children and finds that few services have been adapted and evaluated for use in the homelessness service system. Based on the robust evidence describing positive outcomes in programs for low-income parents with depression, the authors propose guidelines for adapting and implementing services directly by programs serving homeless families." Continue reading

New Brief: Homelessness Among U.S. Youth

Homelessness among youth in the United States is an alarming program. Estimates of the number of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness for at least one night each year range from 500,000 to 1.7 million. This new brief by The National Center explores challenges experienced by homeless youth and discusses the use of a trauma-informed approach and individual service plans to meet needs. Read the brief.