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Journal of Official Statistics

The Journal of Statistics Sweden

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2001-7367
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Enumerating the Hidden Homeless: Strategies to Estimate the Homeless Gone Missing From a Point-in-Time Count

Robert P. Agans
  • Corresponding author
  • University of North Carolina, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory, 730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Bolin Creek Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Malcolm T. Jefferson
  • University of North Carolina, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory, 730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Bolin Creek Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ James M. Bowling
  • University of North Carolina, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory, 730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Bolin Creek Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Donglin Zeng
  • University of North Carolina, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory, 730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Bolin Creek Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jenny Yang
  • University of North Carolina, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory, 730 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Bolin Creek Center, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mark Silverbush
Published Online: 2014-05-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0014

Abstract

To receive federal homeless funds, communities are required to produce statistically reliable, unduplicated counts or estimates of homeless persons in sheltered and unsheltered locations during a one-night period (within the last ten days of January) called a point-in-time (PIT) count. In Los Angeles, a general population telephone survey was implemented to estimate the number of unsheltered homeless adults who are hidden from view during the PIT count. Two estimation approaches were investigated: i) the number of homeless persons identified as living on private property, which employed a conventional household weight for the estimated total (Horvitz-Thompson approach); and ii) the number of homeless persons identified as living on a neighbor’s property, which employed an additional adjustment derived from the size of the neighborhood network to estimate the total (multiplicity-based approach). This article compares the results of these two methods and discusses the implications therein.

Keywords: Homeless count; hidden homeless; unsheltered homeless population; Horvitz-Thompson estimator; multiplicity-based estimator

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About the article

Received: 2013-02-01

Accepted: 2013-11-01

Published Online: 2014-05-08

Published in Print: 2014-06-01


Citation Information: Journal of Official Statistics, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 215–229, ISSN (Online) 2001-7367, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0014.

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© by Robert P. Agans. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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