Catching families just before they head to an emergency shelter — and providing them some intensive help — prevented most from falling into homelessness over the long term, a new London study has found.

At least 90 per cent of families offered help through the novel research project remained housed 18 months later, the study by the Lawson Research Institute, Western University, the city of London and Mission Services of London concluded.

“They did fantastic. It is a very good news story,” lead researcher Cheryl Forchuk said Monday as the results were released.