How Do We Measure Success in Homelessness Services? Critically Assessing the Rise of the Homelessness Outcomes Star

Guy Johnson, Nicholas Pleace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Homelessness Outcomes Star (HOS) is probably the most
widespread form of outcome measurement employed by homelessness
service providers. Developed in the UK, the HOS is now being used by homelessness services in other European countries and Australia, while being promoted internationally as a validated set of key performance indicators. This paper examines the ideological framework that underpins the HOS, as well as the theoretical and methodological approaches that inform its operation. The review concludes that while there is some utility in the measurement of relative progress for individual service users, the HOS has important limits, both as a means of comparative outcome analysis and as a validated measure of homelessness service outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Homelessness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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© 2016, The Author(s). Uploaded with permission of the publisher/copyright holder. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • homelessness
  • metrics
  • outcomes

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