Skip to main content
U-M Poverty Solutions Logo U-M Poverty Solutions Logo

Jennifer Erb-Downward

Back to team
Jennifer Erb-Downward

Jennifer Erb-Downward

Director of Housing Stability Programs and Policy Initiatives

Jennifer Erb-Downward is the Director of Housing Stability Programs and Policy Initiatives at Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on the intersection of housing, health, and education with an emphasis on cross-system collaboration to meet the needs of vulnerable children. She has authored numerous reports, articles, and policy briefs highlighting the critical role of schools in supporting children experiencing homelessness as well as the urgent need for affordable housing, comprehensive health services, and trauma-informed care. Since joining Poverty Solutions in 2017, she has been instrumental in shaping policy and practice at local, state, and national levels. Her work has helped to pass legislation in Michigan increasing funding for unaccompanied homeless youth and was cited by the U.S. Senate in their justification for allocating $800 million in the American Rescue Plan to improve school identification and support for children experiencing homelessness.

Prior to joining Poverty Solutions, Jennifer worked as a Principal Policy Analyst at the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness overseeing New York City policy work. There, her research mapping child homelessness across the city and highlighting unmet health needs of students experiencing homelessness contributed to the allocation of $33 million for school-based health centers in public schools with high rates of homelessness.

As a tireless advocate for social justice and equity, Jennifer continues to champion innovative strategies to promote housing stability and to support children, families, and youth so they have the resources needed to thrive.

MPH, New York University.


Homelessness Agenda

Poverty Solutions supports several projects that aim to promote a better understanding of the causes and consequences of homelessness and identify potential points of intervention.

Read more