Homelessness Prevention in King County
Last registered on June 13, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Homelessness Prevention in King County
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002854
Initial registration date
June 08, 2018
Last updated
June 13, 2018 9:52 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-05-01
End date
2020-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This research project will evaluate the effectiveness of two different approaches to homelessness prevention. We will use a lottery to
measure the effectiveness of (1) a combined program of progressive case management and flexible funds relative to (2) immediate
financial assistance. This project will be conducted in the context of the Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative (YFHPI)
in King County, Washington, where lawmakers are interested in assessing the effectiveness of the program's case management
component. The results of this study will also be informative to policymakers and service providers in other communities that are
interested in the most effective means of homelessness prevention.

This lead investigators on this project are from the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame. They are collaborating with the King County Department of Community and Human Services and the Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT.

About LEO:

The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is a research center in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame that conducts rigorous impact evaluations to identify innovative, effective and scalable anti-poverty programs. LEO’s research is directed by faculty from the University of Notre Dame as well as scholars from across the country with expertise in designing and evaluating the impact of domestic anti-poverty programs. Our research initiatives span a wide range of poverty focus areas.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Phillips, David and James Sullivan. 2018. "Homelessness Prevention in King County ." AEA RCT Registry. June 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2854/history/30686
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Definition: Case management plus access to flexible funding (standard care)
The current YFHPI intervention involves a combination of case management and flexible funds. Case management is based on a model of progressive engagement, originally piloted by the Domestic Violence Housing First project. Progressive engagement means that case managers customize the level and extent of case management services to a particular client’s situation. Regular case management activities include navigating interactions with landlords, identifying suitable housing, and other housing-specific activities. But case management also regularly includes broader activities related to budgeting, employment, dependent care, etc. that can support housing stability. Case managers aim to develop a relationship of trust that allows the participant to better navigate a path to housing stability.
While purely providing funds for eviction prevention is not the primary design of this program, case managers can directly provide
financial assistance through flexible funds.

Intervention Definition: Immediate Financial Assistance (experimental group)
This intervention is basically the financial assistance part of the standard of care, stripped of the case management element. This is
an experimental intervention that exists for research purposes. The client will be asked to provide verification of their need, but is
eligible for immediate financial assistance after the need has been verified. Funding can be used to cover all of the same expenses
that funding could be used for in the standard YFHPI intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2018-05-01
Intervention End Date
2019-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Use of homelessness services, shelter entry, address stability, evictions
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Child education; Involvement with protective services; criminal justice involvement, physical health, public benefits enrollment
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomized Controlled Trial - Each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to either intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by the computer software using during program enrollment.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters planned.
Sample size: planned number of observations
600
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 in each treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Notre Dame
IRB Approval Date
2018-04-04
IRB Approval Number
18-01-4376