Have our unsheltered homeless neighbors been engaged and offered housing?
Over three-quarters of LA’s homeless residents are living unsheltered, but new research from the Homeless Research Data Collaborative found that although 90% of homeless survey respondents were interested in some form of housing, one-third reported no engagement with outreach services.
Researchers from UCLA, USC, and Akido Labs are using a first-of-its kind data platform to understand this question and others like it by engaging and learning from people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
The Homeless Research Data Collaborative was launched by researchers from USC, UCLA, and Akido Labs to connect lived expertise, research, and data to better understand the stories and needs of people experiencing homelessness in our communities.
Our team designed a first-of-its-kind platform and worked with people with lived experience to build reciprocal relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness, via monthly online surveys.
This approach allows us to understand the complex needs and daily lives of people whom our communities and systems have failed. By connecting directly with actual people, in a timely way, we can identify patterns, pinpoint barriers, and rapidly mobilize solutions.
PATHS Study Approach
Canvassed unsheltered hotspots with trusted staff to enroll people experiencing homelessness
Prospective participants received a text message linking to study information and a prescreening survey
If eligible, participants completed surveys in English or Spanish on a secure website accessed on a phone or computer
Upon completion, respondents were connected to a portal to receive an electronic gift card
PATHS Initial Report
Understanding Housing Needs
From late 2021 until July 2022, we have been asking asked participants in the study about their housing preferences. Evidence has shown that individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to accept housing and services—and remained housed long-term—when those supports are aligned to the individuals’ unique needs.
Which of these housing or shelter options would you be interested in receiving?
None of the above
Shared living situation with own room
Temporary stay in hotel/motel
Out of 289 participants, 56% indicated that they would be interested in receiving supportive housing services.
Additional services that were of interest included temporary stay in hotel/motel (51%), shared living with a roommate (28%), other transitional living (23%), private room in a shelter with a shared bathroom (21%), safe camping (18%) and bridge housing (18%).
Only 2% were interested in congregate (group) shelter.
10% of participants indicated they were not interested in any housing services that were listed on the survey.
Do you have any specific needs or requirements for housing/shelter?
Allowed to stay with pets
Storage for possessions
Allowed to stay with partner, spouse, or child
What are some issues that would keep you from moving into a shelter or housing?
Negative interactions with staff
Lack of privacy
Read the latest complete findings:
Read about our ongoing research: