With findings from a mixed methods research study, this interdisciplinary webinar will present results from a historical public document analysis, a GIS spatial analyses, client surveys and interviews, and interviews with professionals and service providers. In 2019, the delivery of homeless sheltering services in Salt Lake County transitioned from a centralized emergency shelter to a scattered site model with multiple resource center locations, operated by multiple service providers. To understand the degree to which “proximity” to public transportation and other needed services was achieved, this study examined:
- how the decentralization of homeless services influenced transportation demand and mobility patterns for persons experiencing homelessness; and
- how transportation and mobility changes affected access to services.
Findings reveal that while the region’s homelessness services system changed, the transportation network went unchanged, challenging the use of transportation, mobility, and access to services. Recommendations to mitigate transportation issues when homeless services are decentralized include significant consideration of how the transportation network system will evolve alongside the restructured service system. This could include development of no- or low-cost transportation on demand options, expanding bus routes, state-level funding for a shuttle system, and education for people experiencing homelessness on how to use public transit.
KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES
- The audience will learn about a case study of a homeless shelter that was replaced by multiple shelters and how this change affected the mobility of those receiving services.
- The audience will learn about how public transportation networks need to be in dynamic cooperation with other municipal and social services, with particular attention toward how those experiencing homelessness require access to public transportation services.
- The audience will learn about the need to offer transportation on demand to persons experiencing homelessness, provide education on transportation and system navigation, and increase transportation-related funding to ensure transportation costs are not a barrier to healthcare and social services.
This webinar is based on a study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and conducted at the University of Utah. Read more about the project: Understanding the Mobility Impacts of Decentralizing Homeless Services in Salt Lake County, Utah.
This 60-minute webinar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.
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Photo by aoldman/iStock
This webinar is hosted by the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University. The research was funded by the Summit Foundation and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a program of TREC and one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers. The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. We pursue our theme — improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.