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ACEs and Homelessness

ACEs increase future homelessness risk. Research by Larkin & Park (2012) confirms evidence of higher ACE Scores among individuals experiencing homelessness compared to participants in the original ACE Study. Many of the harmful correlates of high ACE Scores such as serious mental illness, substance use and chronic health problems are significantly more prevalent among unhoused persons compared to the general population. These findings highlight the need for ACE-informed homeless services. 

The Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) stands as an historic example of how individuals experiencing homelessness can be served holistically. COTS is the first social service agency to utilize Integral Theory through the Restorative Integral Support model to guide ACE-informed programming efforts. Click here to view powerpoint slides covering ACEs and Integral responses to homelessness. 

The National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services has been leading efforts to bolster homeless services through advocacy, knowledge development and building policy partnerships since 2013. This consortium of over 20 partner schools of social work from around the United States also collaborates with the Grand Challenge to End Homelessness, which was launched by the American Academy for Social Work and Social Welfare in 2016. 

Click here to read a summary of key findings from a study of families experiencing homelessness and ACEs of unhoused mothers, disseminated by the National Center.