FREE Access to Full Text: This article examines the unique services needs of families that are homeless. It is featured in the "Future of Homeless Services" Special Issue, guest edited by the Homelessness Resource Center and published in the Open Health Services and Policy Journal. The authors proposes a framework for assessing the needs of families experiencing homelessness over time.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the need for supports and services for families who are experiencing homelessness and to propose a framework for developing them based on families' needs over time. The authors propose a three-tier framework for understanding the needs of homeless families. Tier 1 includes short-term basic needs such as affordable housing, child care, transportation, health care; Tier 2 includes ongoing supports such as education and job opportunities, trauma and mental health services, and family supports; and Tier 3 includes lifelong supports related to chronic medical, mental health, or substance use issues. The authors also review recent service trends and emerging evidence for service needs for homeless families. (Authors)