Session: Homelessness & Housing Pulse Check: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going? (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

147 Homelessness & Housing Pulse Check: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going?

Friday, January 17, 2020: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy (IP&SWP)
Mariam Rashid, MPH, Rutgers University, Sara Semborski, LCSW, University of Southern California and Taylor Harris, MA, University of Southern California
Homelessness poses a broad, national challenge to which communities across the United States have taken a variety of approaches to combat and end. Recent estimates suggest that 1.5 million Americans experience homelessness for at least one night each year. Housing has been identified as a solution to end homelessness in America and the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness has proposed housing-related efforts necessary to achieve this goal. Yet, the diversity of persons experiencing homelessness, along with the vast landscapes they experience homelessness in, and the variation in housing policies across these regions position homelessness as a complex problem that will be tackled for many years to come.

In recent decades, the ideological shift in the notion that homelessness can be ended rather than simply managed changed how researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners engage in the discourse, such that many U.S. cities and regions now have plans to end homelessness. Yet, homelessness is a substantial problem, and although evidence-based provisions exist for some groups impacted by homelessness, such solutions do not exist for all. In many instances, housing has been identified as a viable option for ending homelessness. However, the landscape of housing policy and practice in the United States reaches far beyond the experience of homelessness. Housing policies affect the types of services offered within our communities and how. Housing policies influence all communities, from rural to urban. Housing policies are tied to economic and racial inequalities felt by neighbors. Housing policies bleed into housing well beyond supportive housing. Rarely are these aspects of housing as a solution to end homelessness explored together. This roundtable offers a much-needed space to integrate and tackle aspects of housing as a solution to end homelessness.

This roundtable session will begin a dialogue about the overlap and intersection of differing forms of housing research being conducted throughout the United States. Discussants aim to dissect five broad topics relating to housing research today, these include; 1) housing policies, 2) services connected to housing, 3) mapping out and explaining differences within rural and urban housing, 4) economic and racial inequalities within housing, and finally 5) housing beyond supportive housing. Ph.D. students that are part of the Grand Challenges to End Homelessness SIG (Special Interest Group) will be presenting each of these topics, separately highlighting the contribution to research on housing while drawing attention to gaps and intersections within the current housing research agenda of today. As the next generation of researchers focusing on housing and homelessness, these presenters will intersect these topics and discuss the future of the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness within the coming decades. The goal of our round table is to review research that has been conducted to best understand ongoing needs in an effort to build an impactful research agenda for the future, together. Outcomes of our round table include discussing future policies, exchanging ideas and stimulating conversations among emerging housing researchers. We hope to inspire one other, build, and create a community within a new generation of researchers to end homelessness.

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