Economic Roundtable Provides Tools to Identify Those Most At-Risk for Chronic Homelessness

The Economic Roundtable published a report, Early Intervention to Prevent Persistent Homelessness, describing new predictive analytic tools to accurately forecast which populations are most at risk for chronic homelessness. The tools improve the efficiency and effectiveness of homeless interventions by matching the individuals most at-risk for persistent homelessness with the appropriate public services and interventions to prevent long-term chronic homelessness.

The Economic Roundtable posits that the best strategy to reduce homelessness involves differentiating the level of need among newly homeless individuals and early intervention with intensive help for those most at-risk of chronic homelessness.

Eight percent of low-wage workers who lose their jobs become chronically homeless, defined as over twelve consecutive months of homelessness or more than two episodes of homelessness in three years. Low-wage workers who are African American, male, and single face a disproportionate risk of experiencing chronic homelessness after a job loss. The first predictive analytic tool identifies low-wage workers with especially high-risk for persistent homelessness and prioritizes them for access to early, comprehensive interventions adapted to their needs and vulnerabilities.

The second tool identifies youth receiving public assistance who are most at risk of experiencing chronic homelessness in the first three years of adulthood and prioritizes the most at-risk young adults to receive assistance. African American youth, individuals who were in the foster care system, youth who have been incarcerated, and youth who experienced homelessness as children are the most at-risk for long-term homelessness once they reach adulthood.

The predictive analytic tools were developed based on a population of those experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness in Los Angeles County over a fifteen-year time frame. The models assess key attributes of individuals, including demographic characteristics, homeless and employment histories, and use of services provided by the health, behavioral health, social service, and justice systems. These tools can be reconfigured to use locally available data and are in the public domain for free use in cities throughout the United States.

Early Intervention to Prevent Persistent Homelessness is available at: