Original Paper

The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 213-228

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Community-Wide Strategies for Preventing Homelessness: Recent Evidence

  • Martha R. BurtAffiliated withUrban Institute Email author 
  • , Carol PearsonAffiliated withWalter R. McDonald Associates, Inc.
  • , Ann Elizabeth MontgomeryAffiliated withWalter R. McDonald Associates, Inc.


This article summarizes the findings of a study of community-wide strategies for preventing homelessness among families and single adults with serious mental illness, conducted for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The study involved six communities, of which this article focuses on five. A major finding of this study was that it was difficult to identify sites with community-wide strategies, and even harder to find any that maintained data capable of documenting prevention success. However, the five communities selected for this study presented key elements of successful strategies including mechanisms for accurate targeting, a high level of jurisdictional commitment, significant mainstream agency involvement, and mechanisms for continuous system improvement.


Homelessness Prevention Families People with serious mental illness Community strategies