ERIC Number: ED302738
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Homeless Mentally Ill: Problems and Options in Estimating Numbers and Trends. Report to the Chairman, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.
In response to a request by the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, the General Accounting Office (GAO) examined the methodological soundness of current population estimates of the number of homeless chronically mentally ill persons, and proposed several options for estimating the size of this population. The GAO reviewed 27 estimates of the number of homeless persons that were published between 1975 and 1987 and that presented information about the estimation methods used. Three reports were national, 4 were state, and 20 were local. Nine reports had information on mental illness among the homeless. Only 10 reports were considered technically sound. Nine of these were survey- or census-based; one was utilization-based. The results of the review revealed no sound national estimates of the number of homeless persons who are chronically mentally ill or of trends over time. Some local estimates, however, contained relatively sound estimates on both homeless persons and those who were chronically mentally ill. Rates of homelessness were affected by the type of method used and the technical quality of the study. Estimates of prevalence of mental illness among the homeless were affected by method choice. GAO identified several options for obtaining better assessments. This report describes the GAO study in detail and includes 12 appendices, a glossary of terms, bibliography, 12 tables, and 3 figures. (NB)
Descriptors: Community Surveys, Data Collection, Estimation (Mathematics), Homeless People, Mental Disorders, National Surveys, Population Trends, Research Methodology, State Surveys, Surveys
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 (1-5 copies, free; 6-99 copies, $2.00 each; 25% discount on 100 or more copies).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Program Evaluation and Methodology Div.