One study with two distinct sections was conducted to identify factors facilitating escape from homelessness. In Section 1, 58 homeless individuals rated possible facilitators of escape (factors they believed would help them become more independent and self-sufficient). In Section 2, 80 participants who had already exited homelessness rated the same facilitators (factors that would have helped them become more independent and self-sufficient) and the importance of actual factors that facilitated escape. When rating factors in the hypothetical, both groups rated obtaining housing as being particularly important for facilitating movement toward independence. People formerly homeless who reported perceived facilitators of escape, however, also reported that their escape was facilitated by realization of their own abilities and potential to offer something to the world. The findings have implications for the design of community interventions helping individuals who are homeless. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.