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Founder/CEO Shayna Rutman's Capstone for American University: Community-Based Research

This paper explores the complexity of the homelessness crisis in the United States. While there are assistance-based programs, homelessness persists because of structural failures from the government, contributing to under-resourced social services. To understand this issue more fully, this study combines a literature review of key issues and research-based practices with a short survey of one homeless outreach service organization in Washington D.C (Community Family Life Services, or CFLS). Through anonymous surveys, the survey reflects the clientele’s experiences and needs, specifically with the CFLS Drop-In Center’s services. Initial findings indicate CFLS has a positive impact on the respondents, with participants feeling heard and valued. Further, this paper analyzes with a multifaceted lens that considers the diverse and intersectional identities amongst the direct community. By amplifying the marginalized voices in research, prevention, and advocacy, this research will provide more effective methods of preventing homelessness to achieve social equity.

FINAL DRAFT Rutman 2024
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