Researching an End to Homelessness: Election Year Policy Ideas (Webinar Series)

September 11, 2020  |  Videos

While much of the nation’s attention focuses on the presidential contest, voters will also be choosing members of Congress and state and local representatives.  Many of these elected officials have a role to play in ending homelessness.  Advocates and concerned citizens will be reaching out to them while they are on the campaign trail or when they are newly sworn into office, asking these politicians to implement new and helpful policies.

But what should they be asked to do about homelessness?  An Alliance webinar series answers these question in the lead up to November elections. 

The Researching an End to Homelessness: Election Year Policy Ideas webinars will feature researchers who have recently published books, white papers, and essays on homelessness. This work relies on existing and emerging research to identify barriers to ending the problem and proven best practices. Throughout the series, the speakers will discuss related policy recommendations.   

Please continue to check this page for updated webinar content.

The Grand Challenge to End Homelessness: A Broad View of the Challenges and Solutions

An association of social work researchers recently published Social Work’s Grand Challenge to End Homelessness: Policy Proposals for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. This collection of essays tackles a broad range of topics—housing strategies, youth, older adults, racial equity, social capital, and income. Panelists on this webinar discussed the collected ideas and emphasize considerations about racial justice that will help guide the rest of the series.

A Deep Dive: Homeless Services and Housing

Informed by extensive careers in homelessness research, Marybeth Shinn and Jill Khadduri recently published In the Midst of Plenty: Homelessness and What to Do About It. The book represents an exhaustive review of existing research on homelessness—why it exists and what practices have been shown to help reduce it. During this webinar, the authors provided an overview of their findings and conclusions for policymakers.


  • Marybeth Shinn, Vanderbilt University, National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council
  • Jill Khadduri, Abt Associates, National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council
  • Joy Moses, National Alliance to End Homelessness (Moderator)

College Students and Youth 

The Hope Center, founded by Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab, has been at the forefront of exploring the homelessness- and hunger-related hardships of the nation’s college students. And researchers at Chapin Hall have long been exploring the challenges of homeless unaccompanied youth. Both have conducted recent research on the impact of COVID-19 on college students and youth. They will present their findings and related policy implications.


  • Sara Goldrick-Rab, Temple University, National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council
  • Matthew Morton, Chapin Hall
  • Joy Moses, National Alliance to End Homelessness (Moderator)


International Perspectives

Homelessness exists in countries around the world, and nations benefit when we share information with one another. In recent years, Finland’s the Y-Foundation and the U.K.’s Centre for Homeless Impact both solicited research-based policy ideas from a collection of international experts. During this webinar, they shared what they learned and offered insights from their countries’ efforts to end homelessness.


  • Ligia Teixeira, Centre for Homeless Impact (United Kingdom)
  • Juha Kaakinen, Y-Foundation (Finland)
  • Dennis Culhane, University of Pennsylvania, National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council (Moderator)


The Affordable Housing Crisis

The nation simply cannot end homelessness without solving its housing affordability problem. Researchers at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies help the nation understand the crisis by regularly tracking housing markets, unit availability, and rental cost burdens on low-income people. A recent white paper by Algernon Austin delves deeply into approaches that could guarantee everyone has a home while also rectifying the results of historical policies that created racial/ethnic disparities in access to housing. This webinar offers an overview of this work.


  • Algernon Austin, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Chris Herbert, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
  • Nan Roman, National Alliance to End Homelessness (Moderator)