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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This study explores the effects of location and neighborhood characteristics on the probability that residents in shelters, Interim, and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs in Chicago's homeless system move to market-rate housing or intend to leave their communities in the near future. The study uses survey data collected in 2009-2011 by Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Learning in cooperation with the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the City of Chicago. These data were collected as part of the Evaluation of Chicago's Plan to End Homelessness.

Within the literature exists an extensive body of research examining neighborhood effects. Just a few studies (Klodawsky et al. 2009; Wong et al. 2006) have specifically explored the impact of neighborhood characteristics on residential stability for homeless populations. Wong et al. (2006) call for further research to examine the impact of neighborhood characteristics on the mobility decisions of PSH residents. Moreover, Chicago housing providers recommended this study explore residents' attitudes about remaining in their respective communities, as well as the impact of other neighborhood characteristics on residential mobility outcomes.

The logistic regressions use data on 512 cases from a one-year, three-wave longitudinal survey of residents housed in the city's homeless system. Moves to market-rate housing were most strongly influenced by respondents' type of housing and location in the city. Residing in PSH and residing on Chicago's North Side were associated with staying in the program. In contrast, neighborhood characteristics strongly influenced whether residents intended to leave their neighborhood. As access to family/friends increased and as rating of neighborhood satisfaction increased, individuals were less likely to intend to leave their neighborhood. Moreover, when comparing results for different types of PSH units, those housed in a project-based unit were less likely to intend to leave their neighborhood than those residing in a scattered-site unit.

These results, which demonstrate that neighborhood characteristics (and location) shape mobility outcomes, indicate that neighborhood is another factor practitioners and policymakers should address in their efforts to house individuals experiencing homelessness.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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