The July 2009 issue of American Journal of Orthopsychiatry presents a special issue on the complex issue of parenting and homelessness. Families are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population and now make up more than one-third of the overall number of homeless people. The epidemic of family homelessness has been linked to the current economic crisis, skyrocketing foreclosure rates, and failure of social service agencies to accommodate family needs. There is a tendency to define homeless families only in terms of family members who present at shelters and other service programs with their children, often only a single parent—most often a mother—with one or more children, 42% of whom are less than six years old. Many of the homeless men and women who enter shelters as individuals are also parents who, for various reasons, are not currently in possession of their children. Family composition may also change over time, as the structures of homeless family units are fluid due to the high rates of separations of family members who are homeless. Social agencies dealing with the homeless often ignore the broader context of the nontraditional family system and support networks that homeless people need (including providing basic necessities for their children). Homeless parents frequently face stigma and discrimination because of their homelessness status. Mothers who are homeless describe feeling that their parenting practices are being monitored closely; if not viewed as adequate, they risk losing their children to foster care. The authors recommend continuing research into homeless families including: identifying the range of interrelationships of family and social support networks among individuals and families who are homeless, identifying young women who are at risk for homelessness and pregnancy, and Identifying which families will succeed in independent living and which families require long-term supportive housing interventions.