Predicting wellbeing and housing loss in supportive housing programs: Lessons learned from a longitudinal evaluation

Thursday, June 2, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Galleria III (Hilton Portland)
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs offer individuals a variety of tools that assist in promoting housing stability, including case management services. The main goal of these supportive housing programs is to maintain continuous housing stability with secondary benefits that include improved quality of life in tenants. The Housing First model is recognized as the preferred evidence-based method of implementing PSH programs, but many communities struggle to offer the depth and complexity of services to achieve model fidelity. For six years, one Texas community has conducted a continuous improvement and performance-based evaluation of its Housing First program, focusing on housing retention, quality of life, substance abuse, mental health and medication adherence. Qualitative analysis indicated that reduction in tenant engagement with case management was a precursor to program disenrollment. Over the 6-year period, tenants' self-sufficiency, quality of life, mental health, substance abuse and medication adherence followed general patterns of initial increases, followed by plateaus, and decreases for some groups of tenants. The use of performance metrics influenced program outcomes, with increases in occupancy and annual retention rates following the establishment of performance payments. Teaching techniques: Following a brief review of evaluation findings and description of changes made during the 6-year period to improve service delivery, the presenters will facilitate a solution-focused dialogue with session participants about challenges associated with implementing Housing First models when resources are not available to fully fund all model components.
Emily Spence-Almaguer, PhD (Associate Professor, University of North Texas Health Science Center)
Kwynn Gonzalez Pons (Graduate Research Assistant, University of North Texas Health Science Center)
Otis Thornton, MDiv (Executive Director, Tarrant County Homeless Coalition)
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