Social IMPACT Research Center Publications

The Social IMPACT Research Center has an extensive portfolio of needs assessment and evaluation research on issues facing poor and low-income populations. Our user-friendly work equips nonprofits, foundations, and governments to advance real-world solutions to poverty.
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Permanent Supportive Housing & Medicaid Providers: A Description of the Health Neighborhood Demonstration Project

December 19, 2017

Permanent supportive housing providers interested in diversifying their funding sources may want to consider Medicaid as a way of supporting its services. The complexity involved with administering Medicaid can be a barrier for many PSH providers, however. In response to this issue, Heartland Health Outreach's Health Neighborhood Demonstration Project is implementing innovative ways to help permanent supportive housing providers benefit from Medicaid funding and improve health outcomes for HHO participants without having to take on the burdens of becoming Medicaid billers. The brief outlines the Health Neighborhood model and implementation, lessons learned, and key considerations for other organizations considering similar partnerships.

Housing & Homelessness

DATA MATTERS WHO ARE THE ILLINOISANS LIKELY TO LOSE FOOD ASSISTANCE IN 2018?

July 20, 2017

There are big changes coming to SNAP in Illinois. On December 31st, certain SNAP recipients will only be able to receive food assistance for a total of three months within a 36 month period, whether or not they are experiencing hunger, if they are not working at least 20 hours per week. The group of people that will be impacted by this change will be adults without work-limiting disabilities who are not currently responsible for the care of children or other family members. The people who make up this group are sometimes referred to as ABAWDs, or able-bodied adults without dependents.

Housing & Homelessness; Hunger & Nutrition

It's Time We End Homelessness in Oak Park

November 9, 2016

To be homeless is to live on the streets. Or in a Housing Forward shelter. Or on someone's couch. In Oak Park, more than five percent of our residents live in extreme poverty, making less than $9,000 a year. About 15 percent of our residents are food insecure, meaning they don't know where they will get their next meal. Too many live one missed rent payment from eviction—and homelessness. The homeless are not just on our streets. They are our classmates at school, and our parents and friends from work or church or baseball teams. They are members of our community. In all, about 200 kids in elementary schools and high schools are homeless. They are living with friends or relatives sleeping on couches with no permanence. The Oak Park Homelessness Coalition is working to change that.Together, we can end homelessness in Oak Park.

Housing & Homelessness; Poverty

A Strategic Plan Forward to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County

July 22, 2014

The Social IMPACT Research Center led a dynamic planning process with The Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County to help them create an updated strategic plan that will guide their work to end homelessness. A Strategic Plan Forward to End Homelessness is the culmination of that process. The plan embodies strategic thinking around targeting resources to those most in need and likely to benefit through coordinated assessment, written standards, and prioritization of resources. It integrates and promotes best practices across housing and service interventions. It identifies new partners, in new areas, to help seize critical opportunities and to leverage more support for the homeless system. It includes a new unmet need calculation and data dashboard to support ongoing data-informed decision-making. This plan, and the work to come from it, will position suburban Cook County to meet the HEARTH Act performance measures, end chronic homelessness, and work towards its ultimate goal of ending homelessness for all.

Housing & Homelessness; Poverty

Trapped by Credit: Racial Disparities in Financial Well-Being and Opportunity in Illinois

February 24, 2014

This report examines an important aspect of economic racial disparity -- disparity in credit scores. The relationship between credit scores and minority presence illustrates a clear racial disparity in credit in Illinois. Though many related factors help to explain some variability in credit scores, even when controlling for them, racial differences in credit persist.Having a credit score is important for gaining access to things like education, better jobs, homeownership -- the very things that feed financial and social opportunity. While credit disparities exist in large measure due to the same historic policies that have limited access to broader financial opportunities for minorities, credit scores are particularly important to consider because they also impact individuals' future financial opportunities.In effect, credit scores can create a trap, one that minorities are more likely to fall into, thereby feeding the continued growth of income and wealth disparities.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Education; Housing & Homelessness

The Game of Credit: A High Stakes Game That Perpetuates the Racial Wealth Gap

February 24, 2014

Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a financially secure future for themselves and their families. Access to equal opportunities is the cornerstone of America's core values and is also a necessity to growing a healthy economy. Unfortunately, the reality is a far shot from that piece of the American dream. Income and wealth inequality are at levels that we have not seen since the Great Depression. The Great Recession further expanded an already growing racial wealth gap. Many families have little hope of upward mobility. In fact, day-to-day life is more expensive for those struggling to make ends meet due to unequal access to the tools we all need to build financially secure futures. This includes a basic checking & savings account, a retirement savings account, a college savings account, home and student loans with low interest rates, and a solid credit score that gives you access to these important loans. Many households of color have been denied access to these crucial financial tools needed to build credit and put them on a path to financial health. As this report will show, this inequity has led to a stark racial disparity in credit scores as well as related indicators, such as education level, student loan debt, employment, income, homeownership, and home loan debt. Fortunately, there are programs and policies that can help close the gap and therefore strengthen the economy, which are also outlined in this report.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Education; Employment; Housing & Homelessness; Poverty

Chicago Neighborhood Indicators, 2011

June 7, 2013

Social IMPACT Research Center's analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007-2011 5-year American Community Survey.

Housing & Homelessness; Poverty

Student Family Support Services Initiative: Final Evaluation Report

November 1, 2012

The Student Family Support Services Initiative (SFSI) provided intensive case management and housing assistance to families with children who were identified as residing in "doubled-up" living situations (e.g. living with relatives or friends because they had lost stable housing but were not yet in homeless shelters or cycled out of shelters) and considered at risk of becoming homeless by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in 2009 and 2010. The program offered case management, housing assistance, and a menu of services that families might need to stabilize in housing including therapeutic services, employment services, and asset building. The theory of change was that addressing a family's primary housing and employment needs would positively impact the educational stability and achievement of students, while at the same time benefiting the family overall. This report, prepared by the Social IMPACT Research Center, presents a final evaluation of the initiative.

Education; Housing & Homelessness

No Place Like Home: Porter County, Indiana, Plan to End Homelessness, Executive Summary

January 1, 2012

Faced with an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness and a system strained doing what it can to address the issue, service providers, shelter and housing providers, community members, faith-based organizations, and funders created "No Place Like Home, a Plan to End Homelessness for Porter County". The plan lays a foundation to retool the homeless service system to most effectively prevent homelessness and rapidly re-house people experiencing homelessness.

Housing & Homelessness

10 Things to Address Homelessness in Porter County

January 1, 2012

How can we end homelessness in Porter County? 10 Things you can do to join in.

Housing & Homelessness

No Place Like Home: Porter County, Indiana, Plan to End Homelessness

January 1, 2012

Faced with an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness and a system strained doing what it can to address the issue, service providers, shelter and housing providers, community members, faith-based organizations, and funders created "No Place Like Home, a Plan to End Homelessness for Porter County". The plan lays a foundation to retool the homeless service system to most effectively prevent homelessness and rapidly re-house people experiencing homelessness.

Housing & Homelessness

Chicago Community Areas by Race and Ethnicity, 2005-2009

September 12, 2011

Social Impact Research Center's analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2005-2009 5-year American Community Survey

Housing & Homelessness; Poverty

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