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date: 21 May 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This entry provides an overview of contemporary homelessness as a major social problem in the United States, focusing on the definition of homelessness and its prevalence, as well as on the composition and characteristics of the homeless population. It then discusses the dynamics and causes of homelessness and examines policy responses toward homelessness since the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. The entry points to the multifaceted nature of homelessness and highlights promising interventions that have shown to be effective in addressing homelessness among members of special needs populations.

Keywords: behavioral health, chronic homelessness, continuum of care, co-occurring disorder, criminal justice, critical time intervention, domestic violence, foster care, homeless families, homelessness, homelessness prevention, housing, housing first model, individual-vulnerability perspective on homelessness, intensive case management, management information system, McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act, patterns of homelessness, physical health, physical and sexual abuse, poverty, runaways, throwaways and homeless youths, service coordination and integration, shelter and street homeless, structural perspective on homelessness

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