Putting Survey Data Into Practice: Part 3, Community Connections

“If the providers understand the family’s perspective on things, they
are better able to help, are more sympathetic, and the family’s needs
can be better met.” 

— Homes for Families Consumer Advocacy Team (CAT) Member, 2017

In September of 2017, HFF released a full report on Family Experiences of Homelessness in Massachusetts. We are continuing to explore and build off of the survey data used in that report, and one way we are doing this is with this blog series, a continuation of the “Putting Survey Data Into Practice” document released in January. The series incorporates the perspectives of families and providers in relation to key data points, and works towards solutions for families and family-centered care.

Stay tuned every Monday in April at 10am for a new (coffee break) installment of this blog series!

Community Connections

Important points from the survey results (page numbers correspond to the full report):

  • Families in congregate shelter were less likely to feel shelter staff helped them become aware of community resources (p. 18)



We wanted to hear from families! What would be some of the best approaches to support and facilitate community connections for families experiencing homelessness? The HFF Consumer Advocacy Team (CATs) shared their reflections, summarized here:

How can organizations support well-connected relationships between families and community resources?

  • Keep in contact with families.
  • Maintain awareness of existing, new, and changing community resources and share this information with families.
  • Actively work to engage families in a community that may not be their own, recognizing and supporting the challenges that come with being in a neighborhood other than one’s own. 
  • Understanding families’ needs on a personal level and maintaining contact for as long as necessary to support community connections. 


This post authored by I.W. & N.M.

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