Approaches to Homelessness Prevention

For Burlington, Vermont
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1011-10
Monday, June 6, 2011

This policy brief is a project for the Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) conducted by the Rockefeller Centers Policy Research Shop. The goal is to provide information about three distinct Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Initiatives for the BHA. Drawing on three case studies, the brief analyzes examples of best practices in homelessness prevention (Hennepin County's Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program), housing first initiatives (New York Citys Pathways to Housing), and permanent supportive housing (international non-profit organization Common Ground). The report concludes with a series of options based on successful case studies to the Burlington Housing Authority both on homelessness prevention programs and data collection.

There are a variety of different ways to tackle the issue of homelessness. All three case studies focus on preventing people from becoming homeless and getting already homeless individuals off the streets. Empirical evidence from all three studies show that these programs have had success in alleviating homelessness over the long-term in various cities across the country, as well as reducing costs when compared to short-term emergency housing solutions. The report also assesses the applicability of each of these case studies to Burlington. All three studies underline the importance of data collection to accurately track the progress and effectiveness of any program that might be implemented.