Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Bethany Bell


Purpose: This study aimed to replicate and extend national research within the local context of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care by using propensity score methods to examine the relationships between race, program outcome, and housing prioritization among subpopulations of individuals experiencing homelessness.

Methods: This study used secondary data analysis and propensity score methods to examine deidentified client-level Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data collected from January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2021 by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC).

Results: Findings indicate that Whites are more likely to exit homeless services programs to temporary or institutional destinations vs. permanent housing situations. Unaccompanied youth and individuals who reported experiencing domestic violence were more likely to exit to a permanent housing destination compared to non-youth and individuals who did not experience domestic violence, respectively. For veterans, White veterans had a higher probability of exiting to a temporary situation while Black veterans had a higher probability of exiting to a permanent destination. When examining VI-SPDAT total score, Blacks scored 0.50 points lower than Whites, unaccompanied youth scored 2.20 points lower than non-youth, veterans scored 0.90 points lower than non-veterans, and those who experienced domestic violence scored 1.21 points higher than those who did not experience domestic violence. In addition, in some models, subscale scores varied based on race and subpopulation status.

Conclusion: Race and sub-population status significantly predicted VI-SPDAT total score. The variation in subscale scores by race and subpopulation suggests that the VI-SPDAT and its subscales may lack measurement equivalence. Individual item analysis by race and subpopulation is needed to better understand disparities in responses. Such analyses could be used to inform tools and processes to assess vulnerability across groups of persons experiencing homelessness.


© 2023, Mary Ann Priester

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