Examination of homeless families presents a tremendously diverse picture of the face of homelessness. The common thread is that families living in shelters, doubling-up, or in squatter settlements face enormous barriers to being able to nurture and educate their children adequately. Under these circumstances homeless families may eventually lose their ability to function as a family. Therefore, adequate and secure housing is essential in keeping families together; it is the anchor that underlies the very concept of family. Although the problem of homeless families remains substantial, creative approaches to providing permanent housing for families have been discovered in both the industrialized and the developing world. The best of these projects tap into the strengths and active participation of the families.
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