Long-term and chronic Homelessness in homeless women and women with children

Cheryl Zlotnick, Tammy Tam, Kimberly Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chronic Homelessness initiative has directed millions of federal dollars to services for single unaccompanied homeless individuals, specifically excluding women living with their children. Using a data set with a nationally representative sample of homeless adults, we calculated the prevalence rates and profiles of long-term homelessness in homeless women (n = 849). With the exception of the criterion of being a single unaccompanied individual, many women, including women with children, met the criteria for chronic homelessness including having a disability of mental health or substance abuse problems. Our findings suggest that the federal definition of chronic homelessness needs to be revised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-485
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Martha Burt, PhD, and Linda Weinreb, MD, in reviewing the manuscript. This study was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Substance Abuse Policy and Research Program No. 52826.


  • Homelessness
  • children
  • family
  • mental illness
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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