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Howard Rolston, Judy Geyer, Gretchen Locke
This randomized experiment explores the effect of the Homebase Community Prevention Program in New York City. Participants in the program were members of households deemed at-risk of homelessness. These participants were assigned to a control group, and a treatment group that received access to a case manager, limited financial assistance, job training, child care, legal resources, and so on. Results show that participants in the program spent significantly less time in shelters, and were less likely to ever enter a shelter in the first place. Otherwise, no other benefits were found.
Services on par with the Homebase program may go a long way in preventing homelessness, Further, the analysis shows that the cost savings due to reduced shelter use more than offset the cost of the program itself, making it not only cost-effective, but actually revenue-generating.
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