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Article

Making the Case for Proactive Strategies to Alleviate Homelessness: A Systems Approach

1
Health Care Administration Department, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA
2
School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020526
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 4 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2021 / Published: 10 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Homelessness)
Homelessness is a complex public health issue that affects some of the most vulnerable populations in the United States. This study takes a holistic approach to better understand and analyze the multiple factors and their interconnections that contribute to the complexity of this problem. A systems analysis was conducted by utilizing the system dynamics method, which allows analyzing and comparing trends and behavior of system outcomes for different “what if” scenarios, interventions, and policy implications. Three leverage points were identified in this study to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the current strategies to address homelessness: (1) increasing the number of affordable permanent housing units, (2) increasing the utilization of transitional housing units or shelters by the individuals experiencing homelessness, and (3) providing preventative services to at-risk populations before the onset of homelessness. Our results demonstrate that the most effective strategy is an amalgam of the solutions identified by these three leverage points. In addition, a policy analysis was conducted to study and estimate the effectiveness of various potential scenarios. This research provides data-driven and model-based insights into how decision-makers can utilize a systems approach to analyze new policy implications and create effective solutions to homelessness. View Full-Text
Keywords: homelessness prevention; systems approach; affordable housing; system dynamics homelessness prevention; systems approach; affordable housing; system dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nourazari, S.; Lovato, K.; Weng, S.S. Making the Case for Proactive Strategies to Alleviate Homelessness: A Systems Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 526. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020526

AMA Style

Nourazari S, Lovato K, Weng SS. Making the Case for Proactive Strategies to Alleviate Homelessness: A Systems Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(2):526. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020526

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nourazari, Sara, Kristina Lovato, and Suzie S. Weng. 2021. "Making the Case for Proactive Strategies to Alleviate Homelessness: A Systems Approach" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 2: 526. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020526

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