Homelessness: Coordination and Evaluation of Programs are Essential

This report presents information from a study on the needs of homeless people which (1) identified and described characteristics of federal programs targeted for homeless people and key nontargeted programs available to assist low income people generally; (2) identified amounts and types of funding for these programs in the fiscal year 1997; and (3) determined if federal agencies have coordinated their efforts and developed outcome measures for their targeted programs. Of the 50 federal programs administered by 8 federal agencies, 16 are targeted for the homeless and 34 are nontargeted for low income people generally. Both types of programs offer many services (e.g., housing, health care, job training, and transportation). Over $1.2 billion in obligations was reported for programs targeting the homeless and $215 billion in obligations was reported for nontargeted programs for low income people. Most of the funding for targeted programs is provided through project grants. A significant portion of the funding for nontargeted programs is not used for the homeless. Federal efforts to assist the homeless are being coordinated in several ways, and many agencies have established performance measures for their efforts. Eight appendixes, which comprise the bulk of this report, provide data on the programs. (Author)

Publication Date: 
Washington, DC, USA