From Empirical Analysis to Public Policy: Evaluating Housing Systems for Homeless Youth
There are nearly 2 million homeless youth in the United States each year. Coordinated entry systems are being used to provide homeless youth with housing assistance across the nation. Despite these efforts, the number of youth still homeless or unstably housed remains very high. Motivated by this fact, we initiate a first study to understand and analyze the current governmental housing systems for homeless youth. In this paper, we aim to provide answers to the following questions: (1) What is the current governmental housing system for assigning homeless youth to different housing assistance? (2) Can we infer the current assignment guidelines of the local housing communities? (3) What is the result and outcome of the current assignment process? (4) Can we predict whether the youth will be homeless after receiving the housing assistance? To answer these questions, we first provide an overview of the current housing systems. Next, we use simple and interpretable machine learning tools to infer the decision rules of the local communities and evaluate the outcomes of such assignment. We then determine whether the vulnerability features/rubrics can be used to predict youth’s homelessness status after receiving housing assistance. Finally, we discuss the policy recommendations from our study for the local communities and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
KeywordsHousing system Homeless youth Classification
This research was supported by MURI Grant W911NF-11-1-0332.
- 1.Breiman, L., Friedman, J., Stone, C., Olshen, R.: Classification and Regression Trees. The Wadsworth and Brooks-Cole Statistics-Probability Series. Taylor & Francis, London (1984). https://books.google.com/books?id=JwQx-WOmSyQC
- 2.Focus Strategies: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Youth Coordinated Entry System (CES) Final Evaluation Report (2017). http://focusstrategies.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Updated-Final-Youth-CES-Report-042017.pdf
- 3.Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Coordinated Entry Policy Brief (2015). https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/Coordinated-Entry-Policy-Brief.pdf
- 4.Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Coordinated Entry and Youth FAQs (2016). https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/Coordinated-Entry-and-Youth-FAQs.pdf
- 5.Lipton, Z.C.: The mythos of model interpretability. CoRR (2016)Google Scholar
- 6.Ribeiro, M.T., Singh, S., Guestrin, C.: “Why should i trust you?”: explaining the predictions of any classifier. In: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2016, pp. 1135–1144. ACM, New York (2016)Google Scholar
- 7.Rice, E.: Assessment Tools for Prioritizing Housing Resources for Homeless Youth (2017). https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56fb3022d210b891156b3948/t/5887e0bc8419c20e9a7dfa81/1485299903906/Rice-Assessment-Tools-for-Youth-2017.pdf
- 9.Toro, P.A., Lesperance, T.M., Braciszewski, J.M.: The heterogeneity of homeless youth in America: examining typologies. National Alliance to EndHomelessness, Washington, DC (2011)Google Scholar