November 2017. Conroy E, Williams M.
People leaving government-funded services have an elevated risk of becoming homeless. This review examines the evidence about who is most likely to experience homelessness at this time, and how we can best support people to prevent this from happening. The authors consider six transition pathways: young people leaving out-of-home care; young people leaving juvenile detention; people leaving prison, hospital, mental health facilities and social housing. Some of the factors that contribute to homelessness are about the person (e.g. mental illness) while other factors are about the person’s social environment (family support, violence in the community) and even the broader influences operating in society (availability of affordable housing and support services). The authors use this ecological framework to explore how risk factors can operate across different levels and the level at which we should be providing services and support to reduce homelessness risk. The availability and strength of the evidence varies across pathways and interventions, but overall the strength of the evidence is low and there are many gaps. The authors conclude with suggestions about ways to build the evidence base.