Creating a Roadmap to Help Children & Families Facing Eviction

Housing & Homelessness

(left to right) Dr. Matthew Desmond, US Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5), Bruce Lesley at Capitol Hill briefing on children and families facing eviction (July 19, 2017)

Today, the First Focus Campaign for Children released a set of recommendations to address the barriers to stability faced by the millions of children and families who have experienced an eviction. [Read the report: Children and Families Facing Eviction: Policy Recommendations to Support Stability]

They acknowledge that this is a complex problem, and policy solutions must address both the causes of evictions, as well as the trauma experienced because a family was forced out of their home. Families with children who are evicted often face high rates of mobility and unstable living environments that result in negative consequences for their children’s education, physical health, mental health and interpersonal relationships.

This means that while increasing the supply of affordable housing in the U.S. is critical, affordable housing alone cannot address all of the underlying contributions of evictions, such as job loss, lack of access to civil legal services, substance abuse, mental health issues, and domestic violence.

This document was released in tandem with today’s Congressional briefing hosted by First Focus and honorary co-chair US Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) featuring sociologist Dr. Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.


We have made the following event materials available: 

  • Report: Policy Recommendations for Children and Familes Facing Eviction (Read the report)
  • Handout: Equal Opportunity for Residential Representation Act of 2017 (H.R. 1146) (Read the handout)
  • Press Release: First Focus, Rep. Ellison Host Matthew Desmond to Discuss Kids and Families Facing Eviction (Read the press release)
  • Presentation: Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus (Download PDF)
  • Presentation: Beth Mellen Harrison, DC Legal Aid (Download PowerPoint)
  • Handout: Landlord Tenant Court-Based Legal Services Project (Download PDF)
  • Presentation: Dr. Brittany Lewis, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at University of Minnesota (Download PowerPoint)
  • Article: “Solution to help tenants avoid eviction lags in Maryland” (Read article)