Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Katherine Masyn

Second Advisor

Scott Weaver


During a given night in the United States, approximately 553,742 people experience homelessness, and 1.4 million people stay in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program each year. The aim of this study is to use a multilevel modeling approach to examine which client level and program level factors are associated with achieving permanent housing at program exit, as few studies in current literature assess both client and programmatic factor impact on housing outcomes simultaneously. Client level data from Georgia’s Homeless Management Information System for 8,756 clients enrolled in housing assistance programs was analyzed. The average age was 42.05; 71.96% of clients identified as Black or African American, 57.15% were male, 31.41% had mental illness, and 83.65% were in households without children. Data was analyzed using hierarchical generalized linear modeling to estimate the log odds of successful placement in permanent housing considering both client and program characteristics. Results show that individuals who were male, in households without children, and had mental illness were less likely to obtain permanent housing at program exit, regardless of which type of housing assistance program they were enrolled in. Clients enrolled in programs within the City of Atlanta were just as likely to obtain permanent housing at program exit as clients enrolled in programs outside of the city. Households with children were better able to secure permanent housing upon the conclusion of their housing assistance, controlling for program type and other client level factors. Clients who had been homeless for one year or longer prior to entering a housing program were less likely to obtain permanent housing at program exit. Findings indicate that more research on the barriers to housing for individuals in households without children is needed in order deliver appropriate and effective support services. This also implies that we need more support for single homeless men and those who have been homeless previously to help them achieve permanent housing.