Evaluation of a Homeless Shelter Referral and Waitlist Policy

In an effort to increase continuity of service engagement, and therefore access to housing and employment opportunities, many homeless shelter services have shifted implementation away from nightly lotteries to models providing individuals time-limited stays. One notable challenge of implementing time-limited shelter is that it often creates lengthy waiting lists to enter the shelter, which may create barriers to access for some individuals. We conducted a study funded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues that explored  shelter-seekers’ perspectives on the shelter waitlist and whether individuals who entered the shelter from the waiting list differed on psychosocial factors from those who were removed from the waiting list for procedural reasons and did not access the shelter. Study findings are reported here.

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