Homelessness Policy Research Institute

The Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) convenes researchers and policymakers to help design and coordinate timely, relevant, and actionable research to end homelessness in Los Angeles County.

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STATE OF HOMELESSNESS IN CALIFORNIA FACT SHEET. There is no one size fits all solution to ending homelessness. California’s homelessness crisis is vast and complex, requiring systems and individual level interventions to house the most vulnerable Californians.

On Tuesday, December 10th, 2019, the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) hosted a Research Symposium that convened researchers, policymakers and providers to learn about and discuss current research and practice in accelerating the development of permanent supportive housing. The program included a research presentation and a panel of developers, researchers, and policymakers who discussed current opportunities and challenges within the field.

NEW RESEARCH: Permanent supportive housing (PSH) has emerged as a cost effective and impactful housing intervention for people experiencing chronic homelessness, which the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines as an individual with a substance use disorder and/or a mental or physical disability who has been homeless for at least a year. This literature review provides an overview of the financing mechanisms that municipalities generally use to build PSH and highlights emerging innovative strategies for developing PSH that reduce construction costs and speed up project timelines.

NEW RESEARCH: This literature review discusses how trauma may affect people experiencing homelessness, the effects of traumatic stress, well-established interventions, and examples of how trauma-informed care can be adopted by homelessness service providers.

View video highlights of Melissa Chinchilla’s (Research Scientist at AltaMed Institute for Health Equity) discussion of Latino Homelessness in Los Angeles County and the challenges and opportunities for addressing Latinos’ distinct housing and service needs. She presented the findings from her 2019 report “Stemming the Rise of Latino Homelessness: Lessons from Los Angeles County.” More broadly, her presentation helped facilitate a discussion around the value of bringing a race equity lens to homelessness research.

NEW RESEARCH: According to the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, 34% of 18-24 year old youth experiencing homelessness in the region reported having been victimized by some type of intimate partner violence. This literature review provides details on the impact and prevalence of intimate partner violence among youth experiencing homelessness, an area that warrants increased attention from service providers, policymakers, and researchers.

NEW RESEARCH: Data from the homeless count shows that approximately one in five youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles reported having a serious mental illness, and evidence from a range of studies suggests even higher prevalence of mental health challenges among youth experiencing homelessness. This literature review details the findings of researchers and practitioners on the prevalence and impacts of mental health challenges for youth experiencing homelessness and examines ideas for interventions targeting this vulnerable group.

NEW RESEARCH: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) youth are overrepresented in the population experiencing homelessness in the United States. This literature review documents current research about the scope, underlying causes, and unique characteristics of LGBTQ youth homelessness in Los Angeles.

NEW RESEARCH: This literature review explores research on the characteristics and unique needs of older adults experiencing homelessness and highlights potential interventions and strategies for addressing those needs, including permanent supportive housing.

USC Price Center and HPRI Director Dr. Gary Painter testified on June 19th, 2019 before the Senate Governance and Finance Committee of the California State Senate regarding AB 891’s Safe Parking Program. Watch his opening statement and full conversation.

View video highlights from the HPRI Research Symposium on “Trauma-Informed Care and Resiliency” featuring Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Joelle Greene, Cheri Weeks, Susan Neufeld, Larae Cantley, Erika Hartman, Elizabeth Eastlund, and Charles Robbins.

NEW RESEARCH: Shared housing is one strategy deployed to maximize existing housing resources and provide options for those experiencing housing insecurity. This memo reviews existing literature and highlights the identified challenges and best practices associated with the shared housing model.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development launched the Family Options Study in 2008 to determine the effectiveness of policy interventions that assist families experiencing homelessness. This brief highlights the findings, applies policy lessons to LA County’s Homeless Initiative (HI), and recommends further areas of research.

View video highlights from the HPRI Research Symposium on “Predictive Analytics for Homelessness Prevention” featuring Gary Painter, Till von Wachter, and Janey Rountree.

NEW RESEARCH: In 2016, the City of Los Angeles developed a comprehensive strategy for homelessness with the goal of developing 10,000 permanent supportive housing (PSH) units over the next ten years (1,000 per year) using Proposition HHH funding. Given the context of this planned increase in the creation of PSH units, this memo examines the effectiveness of scattered-site and single-site PSH for various populations experiencing homelessness.

NEW RESEARCH: This memo reviews existing literature that explores the outcomes of individuals receiving services through the homeless system and provides context as to why people may re-enter the system.

NEW RESEARCH: “Safe parking” programs provide vehicle dwellers a safe and legal place to park and sleep in their vehicles overnight. This memo provides an overview of the structure, services and outcomes of safe parking programs around the country.

Watch video highlights (3:03) from our inaugural HPRI Research Symposium with Dr. Suzanne Wenzel on “Permanent Supportive Housing and Health Outcomes Among Individuals With Experiences of Chronic Homelessness”. Watch the full version (1:20:08) here.

POLICY BRIEF: Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is an evidence-based solution to house individuals experiencing chronic or long-term homelessness and who have physical or mental health problems. This research examines a population of individuals who have experienced homelessness and who have transitioned into PSH. The brief identifies opportunities to further support PSH residents through additional programmatic investments.

Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is effective at ending chronic homelessness. PSH should also be designed to accommodate and address accelerated aging experienced by homeless adults in order to help them age in place once they
are housed.



Established with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Home For Good Funders Collaborative, the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) is a county-wide effort that includes over 30 scholars and policymakers coming together to convene and collaborate on research to end homelessness in Los Angeles County.  HPRI focuses on four primary activities:

  • Foster collaboration and coordination among researchers focused on homelessness in the Los Angeles region.
  • Share current and upcoming research with policymakers and community partners to inform on-the-ground work.
  • Conduct rapid-response policy research to inform policy and program design.
  • Assist in developing and coordinating requests for proposals for homelessness research relevant to Los Angeles

HPRI is proud to operate in conjunction with USC’s Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness, which seeks to expand university resources to fight homelessness in Los Angeles County.

About HPRI

Established with a leadership gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and support from the Home For Good Funders Collaborative, the Homelessness Policy Research Institute (HPRI) is a county-wide effort that includes over 30 scholars and policymakers coming together to convene and collaborate on research to end homelessness in Los Angeles County.

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HPRI Research

Through its commitment to sharing and disseminating high-impact, actionable research relevant to homelessness in Los Angeles County, HPRI curates and organizes the newest research relevant to homelessness policies and programs in Los Angeles County.

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HPRI Activities

HPRI conducts a wide range of rapid-response policy research requested by local partners and provides assistance in developing RFPs for homelessness research relevant to Los Angeles County.

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HPRI Partners

HPRI research committee partners include highly regarded researchers from a variety of public and private institutions, including: USC, UCLA, Corporation for Supportive Housing, RAND Corporation, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Abt Associates, Economic Roundtable, and others.

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HPRI is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation