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Mission and History

By the end of the 1980s, rates of family homelessness were growing in the United States, and governments responded at the federal and state levels by increasing policies and programs to address the issue. In light of these changing demographics, in 1990 the Institute for Children and Poverty—now the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH)—formed in New York City to monitor and respond to these policies related to homeless families. It aimed to increase the quantity and quality of information about family homelessness in the United States by conducting rigorous, professional research about this growing population with the ultimate goal of informing and enhancing public policy.

Since its founding, ICPH has been committed to the belief that the policies most likely to attract and sustain public and political support, and succeed in helping homeless families, are those based on empirical, quantifiable data. Letting evidence guide policy discussion, ICPH seeks to foster a robust and productive debate about the best options available to communities and governments across the country. In a debate based on facts, colleagues with differing opinions can engage one another with open minds and defend and modify the stances, to the benefit of the entire community working in the field of family homelessness.

Covering a wide range of topics related to family homeless, ICPH reports seek to present issues in a clear, concise manner for decision makers and professionals. For example, in the late 1990s the number of families entering the shelter system due to domestic violence increased dramatically, and ICPH produced two reports on the subject at that time. In 1995, ICPH also sensed a need for a forum to publish and disseminate research on homelessness and related issues, and began the Journal of Children & Poverty .

ICPH has also published several research-based books since its founding through an independent press, White Tiger Press. These titles include A Shelter Is Not a Home … Or Is It?, ICPH President and CEO Ralph da Costa Nunez’s firsthand account of the failure of New York City’s policies to end family homelessness over the course of four mayoral administrations, and its 2010 update, A Shelter Is Not a Home … Or Is It? Revisited. ICPH also distributes children’s books and educational curricula for Homes for the Homeless (HFH), a service provider for homeless families founded in 1986 that developed these materials.

By collecting primary data about homeless families and producing quantitative and qualitative analysis in the form of reports, books, and fact sheets, ICPH publications inform not only government decision makers, other research organizations, and academics — but also thousands of service providers around the country working in the same field.

Use this tool to browse ICPH's archive of published research. Narrow your search by the type and topic of the publication you're looking for.
Hitting the Target: A Case Study of Rapid Rehousing in Philadelphia
7/2014
A Tale of Two Students: Homelessness in New York City Public Schools
7/2014
Primary Stakeholders' Perspectives on Services for Families Without Homes [DRAFT]
4/2014

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