*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The REMA pilot was implemented at only one men’s assessment shelter, Bedford-Atlantic. Since shelter assignment for new entrants is random, the pilot provides a “natural” experiment. At Bedford Atlantic, clients referred to HRA and the employment program, were closely case-managed by DHS, HRA and the employment vendor. The agencies exchanged nightly reports on residents’ program participation. Those who were non-compliant were reminded of their requirements. The assessment shelter, Keener, was the control site. There, clients were asked to apply for cash assistance and were referred to employment programs but without case management. This study examines whether mandatory welfare and employment program participation and case management increases resident’s employment outcomes and decreases shelter stays.
Residents who entered the treatment and control shelters between March and December 2011 were included in the study. The total population was 7026 men, ages 18 to 59. The sample size of individuals who applied for cash assistance and were referred to employment programs was 451 at the treatment site and 287 at the control. The data used for the study was obtained from DHS, (Shelter Stay, age, race, citizenship status, probation and veteran statuses), HRA (Cash assistance and employment program data) and from the SDOL (employment and earnings).
Analysis shows that shelter assignment is not truly random. Thus, statistical adjustment was made to eliminate selection bias. Early results show the treatment group is more likely to apply for cash assistance and to participate in employment programs. Also, preliminary analysis shows the treatment group is more likely to find employment. These positive results suggest that better coordination between homeless and other employment programs ( FSET, WIA and Child Support) in addition to New York State’s Safety Net (cash assistance for singles) could help homeless clients, move towards self-sufficiency.