A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Family Homelessness


Historically, efforts to address family homelessness have not been strongly coordinated. Programs such as shelters and transitional housing were started by organizations and associations motivated to help families in need in their communities. As more programs developed, they did so largely in isolation from one another, each deciding on its own criteria. Programs were also responding to the requirements of various funders, each of whom may have emphasized a certain population or service or measure of success. Many of these programs focused on providing families a temporary place to stay and services intended to help them become more self-sufficient in the long run. Rarely were these same programs equipped to assist families back into housing as quickly as possible.

In the last decade, more communities are embracing rapid re-housing models, which move people out of homelessness as quickly as possible and then provide a flexible level of support, depending on the household's continuing--and sometimes fluctuating--needs. Philanthropy can help communities understand and promote these models.


Funders Together Resources

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Fails to Meet Basic Needs: How Inadequate and Inconsistent Funding in Driving American Families into Homelessness

Today, in every state, a family that relies entirely on TANF for income cannot cover the cost of fair market rent. Funders can, however, play an important role in addressing the gap between state TANF benefits and Fair Market Rents, as well as strengthening the relationship between state TANF programs and housing programs.

Sequestration's Impact on Homelessness [INFOGRAPHIC]

We know that sequestration is hurting homelessness services around the country. This infographic is designed to give a brief overview.


Other Resources

The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy

The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Risk Period or Cohort Effect?

Core Components of Rapid Re-housing

Costs Associated with First-time Homelessness for Families and Individuals

Ending Family Homelessness in Massachusetts

Ending Homelessness Through Employment

Exiting Shelter: An Epidemiological Analysis of Barriers and Facilitators for Families

Gates' Housing First Plan Doesn't Come with Money

Improving Housing Outcomes with Rapid Re-housing

Inclusive Public Housing: Services for the Hard to House

Linking Human Services and Housing Supports to Address Family Homelessness: Promising Practices in the Field

Mapping the Sequester's Impact on Low-income Housing

Rapid Re-housing: Creating Programs That Work

Sequestration's Toll: 70,000 Fewer Low-income Families Have Housing Vouchers

Unemployment and Family Homelessness: The Nation's Crisis, New York City's Experience

WEBINAR: Connecting Employment and Homelessness Systems

WEBINAR: Connections Project


View blog posts on family homelessness


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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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