Homelessness prevention is an essential element of any effort to end homelessness either locally or nationwide. To close the front door of entry into homelessness, the central challenge of prevention is targeting our efforts toward those people that will become homeless without the intervention. This book identifies elements of community homelessness prevention strategies that seem to lead to reductions in the number of people who otherwise would become homeless. The contributing elements include targeting through control of the eligibility screening process; developing community motivation; maximizing mainstream and private resources; fostering leadership; and ensuring the availability and structure of data and information used to track progress, improve on prevention efforts, and facilitate outcome-based contracting. Evidence from the six communities studied indicates that those employing the most elements seem to be more successful at prevention and better able to document their achievements. This book also identifies four promising homelessness prevention activities that may be used alone or in combination as part of a coherent community-wide strategy: (1) supportive services coupled with permanent housing, particularly when combined with effective discharge from institutions, especially mental hospitals; (2) mediation in Housing Courts; (3) cash assistance for rent or mortgage arrears; and (4) rapid exit from shelter. This study provides insight into approaches that will help prevent homelessness. It is an important contribution to our understanding of how to help homeless Americans.