Research Paper: ‘New Beginnings’ Intervention Reduced Odds of Becoming Homelessness Among At-risk Parenting Youth

This impact evaluation study found that our intervention for young parents at-risk of homelessness – implemented within the homelessness prevention service, Homebase – reduced shelter entry rates of this population. The program, New Beginnings, provided employment, educational, and health services to 314 parenting youths from May 2017 to June 2021 that were deemed to be at-risk to homelessness. Social workers followed the critical time intervention (CTI) model of service delivery, in which they focused on intensive engagement with clients to link them to community-based support systems over three phases to achieve housing stability. The study found that fidelity to CTI, such as smaller caseloads per case manager and frequent client engagement, facilitated increased access to childcare, healthcare, and employment opportunities.  Household income levels also improved significantly. Propensity score matching with similar parenting youth receiving only Homebase services showed New Beginnings significantly slowed shelter entries in the nine months following Homebase completion. Study findings demonstrate promise for preventing homelessness among at-risk parenting youth through time-sensitive and flexible responses.

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