The purpose of this paper is to discuss the need for supports and services for families who are experiencing
homelessness and to propose a framework for developing them based on families’ needs over time. The authors propose a
three-tier framework for understanding the needs of homeless families. Tier 1 includes short-term basic needs such as
affordable housing, child care, transportation, health care; Tier 2 includes ongoing supports such as education and job
opportunities, trauma and mental health services, and family supports; and Tier 3 includes lifelong supports related to
chronic medical, mental health, or substance use issues. The authors also review recent service trends and emerging
evidence for service needs for homeless families.