National Alliance to End Homelessness Announces Second Round of Research Grant Awardees

Contact: Libby Miller | | 202-942-8252

January 31, 2024, Washington, D.C. — The National Alliance to End Homelessness today announced new grant awards to researchers at eight institutions. These research grants focus on strategies to reduce unsheltered homelessness and to improve the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing (PSH). Grants were made possible by a generous contribution from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Awards are valued at amounts up to $253,000.

Projects were selected because of their methodological rigor, commitment to centering people with lived experience, and subject matter relevance to policy and practice. Research findings are expected throughout 2024-2025 and will be publicly disseminated through reports and presentations.

“The current slate of grants marks an exciting collaboration between the research world and advocacy efforts aimed at reducing and ending homelessness. We look forward to building bridges that help shape service delivery but also public policy,” says Joy Moses, Vice President of Research and Evidence at the Alliance.

Grants Focused on Unsheltered Homelessness

Matthew Marr, PhD and Qing Lai, PhD of Florida International University will partner with the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust to understand how practices like peer-led, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive street outreach can quickly and equitably secure housing for people living unsheltered. Findings will inform best practices in street outreach programs focused on facilitating direct entries to permanent housing from unsheltered homelessness.

Lynden Bond, PhD, and colleagues at the Urban Institute, will study “bridge housing” programs that provide service-enriched temporary shelter while working to quickly find permanent housing for those who have lived unsheltered. Research will seek to understand key program design and implementation characteristics of these programs, how providers and program users view them, and what preliminary participant outcomes look like through a national survey and deeper follow-up in three case study communities. Findings will inform future use of this project type.

Amanda Wehrman, JD, and colleagues at Homebase will study encampment resolution procedures in California Continuums of Care (CoCs). Community approaches will be compared via interviews and surveys with encampment residents and system leaders, analysis of quantitative homeless management information system data, and document review of policies and procedures. Findings will shed light on how policymakers can address the housing and service needs of people residing in encampments, what barriers exist to pursuing these aims, and how targeted resources can improve permanent housing outcomes.

Grants Focused on Permanent Supportive Housing

Hsun-Ta Hsu, PhD, of the University of North Carolina and colleagues at University of Southern California and Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri, will partner with the Missouri Balance of State Continuum of Care to research and refine their approach to selecting people for PSH participation within a system that doesn’t have enough beds for everyone who needs them. The project is intended to develop a fair and efficient PSH prioritization system in a rural area through data science and community-driven decision making. In addition to developing a new approach for the Missouri Balance of State CoC, these efforts will inform similar ones in other rural and non-rural CoCs.

Emmy Tiderington, PhD and colleagues at Rutgers University will investigate predictors of successful exits from PSH using healthcare and homeless data from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The research will contribute to developing best practices for transitioning people from PSH to living on their own. It will also help with resource allocation decisions.

Chris Herring, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, will study the causes and consequences of unstable exits from PSH. Through in-depth interviews and other methods, the research will examine why some former PSH residents return to homelessness, informing efforts to improve PSH programming, prevent evictions, and improve transitions both into, and when appropriate, out of PSH.

Marisa Zapata, PhD and Marisa Westbrook, PhD of Portland State University will partner with the Portland/Multnomah County Continuum of Care to focus on the needs of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color communities. The project will identify core components of culturally-specific PSH programs, defined as organizations where the leadership, staff, organizational environment, and clients come from a specific cultural community. Qualitative and quantitative information will be collected and analyzed to understand how people of color are most effectively supported in PSH, both by culturally-specific providers and in other settings.

Matthew Fowle, PhD, and Cypress Marrs of the Housing Initiative at Penn will study barriers to establishing, operating, and sustaining PSH across rural CoCs. Providers in rural areas face particular barriers in establishing and operating PSH. Through a national survey and supplemental qualitative interviews, findings will provide systematic evidence on best practices in these settings.

About the National Alliance to End Homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonprofit, non-partisan, organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. As a leading voice on the issue of homelessness, the Alliance analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective policy solutions; works collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity; and provides data and research to policymakers and elected officials in order to inform policy debates and educate the public and opinion leaders nationwide.