Aug. 24 Webinar Explores Program to Prevent Homelessness Among Head Start Families

Pathways Home is a screening and resource program for families

This webinar will describe Pathways Home, a partnership between Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and The Alliance for Community Empowerment. Presenters will discuss the evolution of Pathways Home for families with young children and ongoing evaluation conducted by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. The webinar is at 9 am (CDT), Thursday, August 24th. Registration is now open. Chapin Hall experts will be joined by Dr. Monette Ferguson, Barbara Baldwin and Flora Barrett-Harris from the Alliance for Community Empowerment.

Pathways Home Early Childhood is an early childhood housing stability initiative operated through the Alliance for Community Empowerment, a community action agency and Head Start grantee in Bridgeport, CT. Since 2017, the Alliance has conducted universal screening for housing instability and homelessness among families of children enrolled in Head Start. Families experiencing housing instability and homelessness are promptly connected with supports including housing choice vouchers, housing navigation, and wraparound services. The Alliance and Chapin Hall collaborate on screening and other housing initiatives with Chapin Hall taking a co-design and formative evaluation role in close partnership with The Alliance which offers family-centered supports that build community. Pathways Home is also part of a Head Start on Housing partnership between the Office of Early Childhood, the Department of Housing, and the National Center for Housing & Child Welfare.

Chapin Hall’s recent efforts include evaluation focused on the infrastructure needed to develop and sustain a housing voucher program for families of children enrolled in Head Start, how the program works, factors associated with implementation, benefits to families, and opportunities for improvement. The research team interviewed families who received or are awaiting housing vouchers as well as stakeholders and Alliance staff. Findings include themes related to how the process worked, cross-systems partnerships, and facilitators and barriers to securing safe, stable housing.

Pathways Home is a project of The Alliance for Community Empowerment . The evaluation was led by Dr. Melissa Kull with support from a Chapin Hall research team including Dr. Anne Farrell, Arumani Coleman and Elizabeth DePentu, a recent graduate of the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Research.