Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 219–236

One-year rates of public shelter utilization by race/ethnicity, age, sex and poverty status for New York City (1990 and 1995) and Philadelphia (1995)

  • Dennis Culhane
  • Stephen Metraux
Article

Abstract

This study calculates public homeless shelter utilization rates by sex, race/ethnicity and age status for New York City (1990 and 1995) and Philadelphia (fiscal year 1995) to determine the relative risk for shelter use among different demographic groups in these cities. The resulting shelter utilization rates reveal large disparities among age groups and across racial/ethnic groups, as well as showing different trends in shelter utilization among the two cities. Among the results reported, the rate of shelter utilization declined by 11% in New York City over this period, while the overall utilization rate in Philadelphia has increased to where it is 40% higher than that of New York City. Children under age 5, at a rate of 0.0248, have the highest shelter utilization rate among the age groups studied and the overall rate for blacks is 2.3 times that of the overall population. And while shelter utilization rates among single men have decreased by 30% in New York City, a similar decrease has not occurred among women of early childbearing ages or among young children. Finally, policy implications related to these findings are discussed.

Homeless people New York City Philadelphia Poverty 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blasi, G. (1994). And we are not seen: Ideological and political barriers to understanding homelessness, American Behavioral Scientist 37(4): 563–586.Google Scholar
  2. Burt, M. (1992). Practical methods for counting homeless people: A manual for states and local jurisdictions. Washington, DC: US Department of Housing and Urban Development.Google Scholar
  3. Burt, M. (1994). Comment, Housing Policy Debate 5(2): 141–152.Google Scholar
  4. Burt, M. & Cohen, B. (1989). America's homeless: Numbers, characteristics, and programs that serve them. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  5. Coder, J. (personal communication). Special tabulation of persons in Group Quarters by type and by race, sex and age in New York City and Philadelphia, 1990 Census; 15 July 1996. US Bureau of the Census.Google Scholar
  6. Culhane, D. P. (1992). The quandaries of shelter reform: An appraisal of efforts to 'manage' homelessness, Social Service Review 66(3): 428–440.Google Scholar
  7. Culhane, D. P., Dejowski, E., Ibanez, J., Needham, E., & Macchia, I. (1994). Public shelter admission rates in Philadelphia and New York City: The implications of turnover for sheltered population counts, Housing Policy Debate 5(2): 107–140.Google Scholar
  8. Culhane, D. P., Koppel, M., Metraux, S. & Wong, Y. L. (1997). Mitigating the impact of state welfare cuts for single adults: the implementation and utilization of the homelessness pre-vention pilot project in the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work.Google Scholar
  9. Culhane, D. P., Lee, C. M. & Wachters, S. (1996). Where the homeless come from: A study of the prior address distribution of families admitted to public shelters in New York City and Philadelphia, Housing Policy Debate 7(2): 327–365.Google Scholar
  10. Culhane, D. P. & Metraux, S. (1997). Where to from here? A policy research agenda based on the analysis of administrative data. In: D. P. Culhane & S. P. Hornburg (eds.), Understand-ing Homelessness: New Policy and Research Perspectives, pp. 341–361. Washington, DC: Fannie Mae Foundation.Google Scholar
  11. Culhane, D. P., Metraux, S. & Wachter, S. (1998). Homelessness and public shelter provision in New York City. In: M. Schill (ed.), Housing and Community Development in New York City: Facing the Future. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dennis, M. L. (1993). Coverage of a service-based methodology: Findings from the DC _ MADS Homelessness Study. Paper presented at Towards Census 2000: Research Issues for Improving Coverage of the Homeless Population. Arlington, VA, 10 November 1993.Google Scholar
  13. Hogan, H. (personal communication). Unpublished table containing rates for adjusting for Census Bureau enumeration over and under-counting. 6 June 1996.Google Scholar
  14. Hogan, H. (1992). The 1990 post-enumeration survey: An overview, Journal of the American Statistical Association 46; 261–269.Google Scholar
  15. Hopper, K. & Milburn, N. G. (1996). Homelessness among African Americans: A historical and contemporary perspective. In: J. Baumohl (ed.), Homelessness in America, pp. 123–131. Phoenix: Oryx Press.Google Scholar
  16. Link, B. G., Susser, E., Stueve, A., Phelan, J., Moor, R. E. & Struening, E. (1994). Lifetime and five-year prevalence of homelessness in the United States, American Journal of Public Health 84: 1907–1912.Google Scholar
  17. Massey, D. S. & Denton, N. A. (1993). American Apartheid. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Novacek, J., Raskin, R., Behlinger, D., Rybicki, S., Nail, C. & Firth, L. (1991). Citizen's Opinions about Tulsa's Homeless. Tulsa, OK: Tulsa Institute of Behavioral Sciences.Google Scholar
  19. Stegman, M. (1992) Housing in New York City: Results of the Housing and Vacancy Survey. New York City: Department of Housing Preservation and Development.Google Scholar
  20. Toro, P. A. & McDonell, D. M. (1992). Beliefs, attitudes and knowledge about homelessness: A survey of the general public, American Journal of Community Psychology 20(1): 53–80.Google Scholar
  21. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (1992). 1990 Census of Population and Housing – Guide (Part A). Washington, DC: United States Department of Commerce.Google Scholar
  22. Weitzman, B. C. (1989), Pregnancy and childbirth: Risk factors for homelessness?, Family Planning Perspectives 21(4): 175–8.Google Scholar
  23. Wilson, W. J. (1996). When Work Disappears. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Culhane
    • 1
  • Stephen Metraux
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations