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  • What interventions are most suitable for preventing family homelessness?
  • What is the gap between current capacities of housing and homelessness services and the service capacity needed to end family homelessness in Ada County?
  • What are the programmatic costs of ending family homelessness in Ada County?

To answer these questions, Boise State University’s Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) conducted a literature review of homelessness prevention services as well as an analysis of Ada County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES). Research included tracking households with children through the CES, assessing their referral into programs and determining costs associated with placement into housing.

Data over a two-year period indicates nearly 1,300 households with children were experiencing housing instability and reached out for assistance. Of those households, 680 entered the CES while 636 households were diverted via preventative programming. Of those entering the CES, 287 were able to move into housing at a cost of $847,870. The cost would be approximately $2,295,155 to place households without stable housing into homes.

Up to 110 of the families that entered into the CES may have been able to remain stably housed through preventative programs. As the community continues to build services to address housing instability and homelessness, focusing more resources on preventive programs could yield a significant cost savings to the community while contributing to the effort to end family homelessness.


This report was prepared by Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University and commissioned by the City of Boise.