Related Demonstration Projects

Listed below are a series of primarily federally-funded research and demonstration projects developed and implemented under the leadership of Tanya Tull. The “lessons learned” from these projects have helped to guide the development of innovative strategies to address family homelessness over three decades. Please contact us for further information regarding the demonstration projects listed below.

The Early Intervention Demonstration Project for At-Risk Families in South L.A. Affected by the Economic Recession – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  (2010-2012)

Beyond Shelter tested a model of outreaching, engaging, and coordinating resources and services for 200 low-income and at-risk families experiencing recession-related job loss/income reduction and housing instability, through a multidisciplinary, neighborhood-based approach. The target area is one of the poorest and most underserved communities in the U.S., whose unemployment, poverty, and homeless rates were disproportionately high prior to the economic downtown and have only climbed over the last three years. Approximately 200 families received crisis intervention, time-limited case management and/or workforce development services (e.g., 3-6 months) geared to identifying and addressing their immediate, short-term, and longer-term needs, with a focus on reducing barriers to employment participation and housing stability.

 The Skid Row Families Demonstration Project – L.A. County Homeless Initiative (2007-2009)

This demonstration project tested (1) an innovative model of services integration involving private/public collaboration and (2) a flexible and individualized housing-based intervention for 300 high-risk and/or chronically homeless families. Beyond Shelter served as the lead agency, and partnered with the L.A. County Departments of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Public Social Services (DPSS), Mental Health (DMH), Health Services (DHS), and Public Health (DPH), and the Housing Authorities, City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and County of Los Angeles (HACoLA). As a rapid rehousing model, the Housing First Program is predicated on moving homeless families into permanent housing as quickly as possible and then providing them, through home visitation, the case management services that are traditionally provided in transitional housing programs. As an adaptation of this model, the Demonstration Project was intentionally designed as a “high tolerance” program intended to engage families who are typically refused services by other programs due to presenting issues or family makeup, or who refuse to participate in services when offered. Dysfunctional behavior and/or noncompliance with program activities did not necessarily result in termination of services. The Demonstration Project yielded strong housing outcomes. 82% of participants (241 out of 295) achieved permanent housing. At least 60 families (25% of housed cohort) moved into permanent housing with their own lease agreements for the first time in their lives. The overall housing retention rate was 97%, as measured at case closure, typically 12 months in permanent housing. At two-year follow-up, approximately 84% of families had confirmed housing retention. There were few statistically significant differences between housed and non-housed families.

Process and outcomes evaluation reports from the Demonstration Project can be accessed through the following links:

Skid Row Families Demonstration Project/Final Evaluation Report : Housing Stability and Family Well-Being. July 2010.

Evaluation Report: Permanent Housing Outcomes. November 2009

Skid Row Families Demonstration Project: Year One Abstract. September 2008

The California Endowment – Neighborhood-Based Services Coordination Demonstration Project (2002-2004)

The purpose of this project was to pilot a model for improving the social and economic well-being of residents of a neighborhood surrounding a new affordable housing and childcare facility in South Los Angeles. The model, neighborhood-based services coordination, emphasizes the use of existing resources, interagency collaboration, and partnerships between residents, service-providers, and other stakeholders, thereby reducing barriers to existing services and promoting the development of additional services where gaps exist.  Neighborhood-based services coordination is a preventative approach as opposed to a crisis-oriented approach to meeting human needs.

Wanted: Solutions for America, Pew Partnership for Civic Change funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. (2000-2001)

Beyond Shelter’s “Housing First” Program for Homeless Families was selected by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change as one of 19 sites nationwide to participate in a two-year evaluation initiative, Wanted: Solutions for America. This was a national evaluation effort to document and disseminate successful strategies for building stronger communities. Participation in this study enabled Beyond Shelter to document the impact of the “Housing First” program methodology on the lives of 97 high-risk homeless families, six months after being placed in permanent housing. The research clearly indicated that homeless families were able to reintegrate back into a community and develop stable living patterns, when supportive services were provided for at least six months after the move into permanent housing. Research was conducted by the University of Southern California, in conjunction with the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University. Click here to read the Pew Partnership Evaluation about the research.

Welfare-to-Work Demonstration Project – U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (1998-2001)

This demonstration provided job placement and retention services to over 200 hard-to-employ, primarily single females, who had been long-term recipients of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). The project focused on stabilizing participants in permanent housing as an essential supporting factor for their employment. Case management services were provided for one year subsequent to each participant’s employment to ensure their long-term job retention. All of the participants in the program faced major barriers to employment, such as lack of education, poor work histories or recovery from drug and/or alcohol addictions. Over 90 percent of participants were minority, single female heads of household. The program utilized Beyond Shelter’s team approach methodology, which involves a collaboration between a case manager and an employment counselor to help clients find and retain jobs. Case managers addressed the needs of the family as a whole, while employment counselors worked exclusively on employment-related issues. The Demonstration Project exceeded the project’s goals of addressing the employment barriers of 200 TANF-dependent families and placing 100 participants in unsubsidized employment for at least six months. At the project’s end the agency had served 265 participants, with 206 successfully completing the program. Of those, 102 were placed in unsubsidized employment and 86 in subsidized employment.   Dr. Madeliene Stoner of The Hamovitch Social Work Research Center at the University of Southern California, School of Social Work, was the evaluator of the project.

Moving to Opportunity (MTO) Demonstration Project – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (1994-96)

This five-city (Boston, New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Los Angeles) demonstration project was conducted in collaboration with the Housing Authority of Los Angeles and was designed to help families move from public housing projects to low poverty census track neighborhoods. It involved the provision of one year of case management help families transition to social and economic self-sufficiency. Abt Associates evaluated MTO both short-term and five years after termination of the program. Although attempts to track families over the years have been challenged by the passage of time and mobility of many of the original participants in the MTO program, the following is perhaps most significant: Choosing a Better Life: Evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity Social Experiment – 2003

The Final Report on the MTO Project was released in November 2011 – see:

Homeless Families & Family Support Center Demonstration Project – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (1992-95)   

This project relocated 320 homeless families to permanent housing and then provided intensive case management services for up to one full year, including child development classes, money management classes and job development assistance. The project also assisted families with Section 8 certification and other housing placement assistance. This demonstration project was a forerunner to HUD’s 2010 Rapid Rehousing Demonsration Project and the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program currently being implemented nationwide.

The Los Angeles Early Intervention Demonstration Project for Recently Homeless and At-Risk Families – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1990-93)

(One of five grants awarded nationwide) The project was implemented collaboratively between Beyond Shelter and Para Los Ninos in L.A.’s Skid Row. Phase I involved the provision of emergency and crisis services and Phase II involved the provision of permanent housing relocation assistance and case management services to 75-100 families per year. Through this project, Beyond Shelter launched the Los Angeles Coordinating Council for Homeless Families, which operated continually for the next 15 years. Dr. Fred DeJong of the University of Southern California provided evaluation of the demonstration project.