J-PAL North America seeks to expand the base of rigorous evidence on strategies to reduce and prevent homelessness. In pursuit of this goal, the Homelessness and Housing Stability team partners with direct service providers to:
- raise policy-relevant research questions;
- bolster organizational capacity to design and implement randomized evaluations;
- generate evidence on innovative programs; and
- utilize evidence to inform policy and decision-making.
Los Angeles Homelessness Evaluation (LAHE) Network
Through the LA Homelessness Evaluation (LAHE) Network, J-PAL North America—in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation—is building the capacity of homeless service providers in Los Angeles to generate and use evidence to better understand the effectiveness of their programs as they support communities experiencing homelessness. Multiple LA-based organizations are participating in the LAHE Network and engaging in a suite of training activities in order to strengthen their understanding of randomized evaluations.
LAHE Network Partners
LA Family Housing
LA Family Housing (LAFH) helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. LAFH is participating in the LAHE Network to build their capacity to conduct evaluations of their programs in order to increase the impact and effectiveness of their services.
Brilliant Corners provides innovative housing and supportive services to people transitioning from—or at risk of—homelessness, institutional involvement or incarceration, with over 14,000 people housed since 2004. Working at the intersection of housing and sectors such as healthcare, veterans’ services, the justice system, and the homelessness response system, Brilliant Corners creates supportive housing solutions that empower people to achieve housing stability. Brilliant Corners is participating in the LAHE Network to strengthen their understanding of randomized evaluations, engage with and learn from fellow Network members, and scope the feasibility of conducting their own randomized evaluation.
Together with families, Imagine LA transforms lives by building relationships, wellbeing, and economic mobility. Through their dedication to end the cycle of family poverty and homelessness, Imagine LA equips families to maintain housing stability and thrive long term through their family partnership model, which includes intensive case management, whole family mentorship, and economic mobility. Imagine LA is participating in the LAHE Network to establish an evaluation framework and to learn more about ways to test the effectiveness of their economic mobility program, its accessibility, and the potential for scaling the program, which is currently in pilot year 2.
The TransLatin@ Coalition (TLC) was founded in 2009 by a group of Transgender, Gender nonconforming, and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles, California, as a grassroots response to address the specific needs of TGI Latin@ immigrants who live in the United States. The mission of The TransLatin@ Coalition is to advocate for the specific needs of the Trans Latin@ community that resides in the United States and to plan strategies that improve their quality of life. The organization's goal for participating in the LAHE Network is to gain knowledge about how to design and utilize evaluations to generate data and evidence for policy, advocacy, and organizational decision-making.
St. Joseph Center
St. Joseph Center’s mission is to provide working low-income families, as well as unhoused individuals and children, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable, and self-supporting members of the community. St. Joseph Center is participating in the LAHE Network to assess the feasibility of carrying out randomized evaluations of current and future programs.
Office of Diversion and Reentry, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Los Angeles County's Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) implements and expands programs to divert individuals with serious mental, physical and/or substance use needs away from the criminal legal system and into tailored, long-term community-based care, housing, and support services. ODR is participating in the LAHE Network to increase its capacity to carry out data-driven impact evaluations in order to improve policy development and implementation.
City of Long Beach Homeless Services Bureau
The City of Long Beach Homeless Services Bureau’s mission is to end chronic homelessness in Long Beach, California. The bureau’s goal for participating in the LAHE Network is to identify tailored strategies for their chronically homeless population to move into and sustain permanent housing.
Los Angeles County CEO Homeless Initiative
The Homeless Initiative is the central coordinating body for Los Angeles County’s ongoing effort to expand and enhance services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their homes. Created by the Board of Supervisors in August 2015, the Homeless Initiative is part of the County’s Chief Executive Office and primarily funded through Measure H, a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by over two-thirds of County voters to create the first revenue stream dedicated to addressing and preventing homelessness. From Malibu to Claremont, Long Beach to Lancaster, and everywhere in between, the Homeless Initiative directs, oversees, and evaluates the strategies approved by the Board of Supervisors to address and prevent homelessness. The Homeless Initiative also develops the spending plan for Measure H and supplemental funds that enable County departments and agencies, cities, and more than 100 nonprofit service providers to scale up. The Homeless Inititiave’s goal for participating in the LAHE Network is to strengthen the County's impact evaluation and evaluation design skills related to their homeless response system.
Housing Stability Evaluation Incubator
The Housing Stability Evaluation Incubator offers service providers the opportunity to design a high-quality randomized evaluation of a program aiming to address homelessness or foster housing stability. Through the current Incubator, two organizations are receiving technical assistance, training, financial support, and connections to J-PAL’s network of leading academic researchers to develop their evaluations.
Housing Stability Evaluation Incubator Partners
One Roof is the coordinating agency for the homeless Continuum of Care of Central Alabama—the regional body that coordinates housing services for people experiencing homelessness. One Roof’s mission is to equip and empower the community to prevent and end homelessness through advocacy, education, and coordination of services. Housing services are expensive and in short supply in most homelessness systems, so allocating resources to clients in highest need or capacity to benefit is important. One Roof is partnering with J-PAL North America and the Centre for Social Data Analytics to develop an evaluation to understand the impact of adopting a Predictive Risk Model assessment tool to prioritize clients for housing placement on outcomes such as reductions in street homelessness. One Roof hopes to use the locally driven, evidenced-based data results from the evaluation to redesign the Coordinated Entry system to bring about more equitable housing outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.
Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia
The Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia (LASEV) is a non-profit public interest law firm serving low-income clients in a variety of civil legal matters. Their mission is to promote the equal application of justice and remove impediments to fairness for low-income and vulnerable families of eastern Virginia. They strive to both meet the individual legal needs of their clients and to challenge systemic injustice and the root causes of poverty and inequality. LASEV is partnering with J-PAL North America to design an evaluation on the impact of their eviction mailer outreach initiative to determine whether tenants facing eviction who receive a letter are more likely to reach out for assistance and/or appear for their eviction court date.
Bay Area Evaluation (BAE) Incubator
In 2021, J-PAL North America launched the Bay Area Evaluation (BAE) Incubator with grant support from Google.org. The BAE Incubator focuses on implementing and evaluating cash transfer programs in conjunction with other services in order to assess their impact on homelessness and housing stability. Six leading Bay Area providers participated in trainings to increase their knowledge of rigorous impact evaluations, four of which received technical support to design a randomized evaluation of their cash transfer programs.
BAE Incubator Partners
Compass Family Services
Compass Family Services provides comprehensive services to homeless and at-risk families in San Francisco by partnering with them to find a housing solution and develop tools to secure positive outcomes for the whole family. Their programs focus on helping families to meet their housing, healthcare, childcare, education, employment, and mental health needs, while also removing underlying, recurring barriers to stability. Compass Family Services serves approximately 2,800 families ( over 7,500 individual children and parents) each year. Compass Family Services is partnering with J-PAL North America to evaluate the impact of tying cash transfers to one or more of their existing programs on outcomes related to housing stability.
For more information, please visit: Supplementing Rapid Rehousing with Cash Assistance for Homelessness Prevention
Hamilton Families (HF) is a leading service provider in the Bay Area whose mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are partnering with J-PAL North America to evaluate the impact of adding cash transfers to their Rapid Re-Housing program. Rapid Re-Housing is an evidence-based solution to homelessness and housing instability that falls within the “Housing First” model, in which services are provided without preconditions. HF’s program provides participating families with safe and affordable housing, rental subsidies, and strengths-based case management. In FY20, HF’s Rapid Re-Housing program served a total of 640 families and successfully placed 199 families into permanent housing. The proposed evaluation would assess whether adding cash transfers to their Rapid Re-Housing program has an effect on long-term housing stability.
For more information, please visit: Supplementing Rapid Rehousing with Cash Assistance for Homelessness Prevention
Larkin Street Youth Services
Larkin Street Youth Services is San Francisco’s largest nonprofit housing provider for young people experiencing homelessness. Since 1984, Larkin Street has assisted over 75,000 young adults through wraparound care. Their programs aim to help young people thrive and include outreach and engagement services, health and wellness, shelter and housing, and education and employment. In 2020, more than 1,100 young people in San Francisco slept on city streets or in shelters on any given night. The Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated housing instability for these economically vulnerable youth. Larkin Street is partnering with J-PAL North America to rigorously evaluate the impact of cash transfers as a flexible safety net for youth experiencing homelessness.
For more information, please visit: Pre-Implementation of the San Francisco Trust Youth Initiative & Evaluation
Abode Services is one of the largest homeless housing and services providers in the Bay Area, serving Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Napa Counties. Abode Services works to end homelessness by assisting low-income, un-housed people, including those with special needs, to secure stable, supportive housing, and to advocate for the removal of the causes of homelessness. All of Abode Services' programs have been designed with a Housing First approach that aims to connect participants to housing as quickly as possible. Abode Services is partnering with J-PAL North America to develop an impact evaluation of adding cash transfers to rapid re-housing services, which provide short- and medium-term rental assistance and services to help people obtain housing quickly and increase self-sufficiency.
For more information, please visit: Generating Evidence on the Impact of Cash Transfers for Rapid Rehousing Clients
Miracle Messages is a non-profit organization that helps unhoused people rebuild their social support systems and financial security, primarily through family reunifications, a phone buddy system, and direct cash transfers. Building on the success of a previous pilot of their direct cash transfer program (Miracle Money), Miracle Messages is interested in rigorously measuring the impact of unconditional cash transfers alongside social support provided through their Miracle Friends phone buddy program. J-PAL North America and Miracle Messages explored evaluation opportunities to measure the effect of the transfers and phone buddy program on housing status, financial stability, employment, relational poverty, as well as physical and mental health.
Brilliant Corners’ mission is to provide supportive housing to people who need it, including people experiencing chronic homelessness, transition age youth, veterans, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, high utilizers of public services, and those with a history of justice involvement. Their services include scattered-site and project-based rental assistance programs, housing development, property management, and intensive case management. In fiscal year 2021, Brilliant Corners placed 263 people experiencing homelessness into permanent supportive housing through the San Francisco Housing Platform. Brilliant Corners partnered with J-PAL North American to bolster their knowledge of and capacity to design randomized evaluations of their many programs.