Using data from the Course of Homelessness Study and secondary data on the general population, the authors of this article report that problems that homeless individuals experience as adults have very clear analogs in their childhood. Substantial numbers of the homeless who were sampled experienced multiple problems as children across several domains, including poverty, residential instability, and family problems. Homeless women and whites disproportionately reported experiences suggestive of personal or family problems, whereas nonwhite disproportionately reported experiences suggestive of poverty. This uneven vulnerability to homelessness has important implications for policies that target early childhood experiences as the root of homelessness.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.