Understanding the Critical Ingredients for Facilitating Consumer Change in Housing First Programming: A Case Study Approach
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- Watson, D.P., Wagner, D.E. & Rivers, M. J Behav Health Serv Res (2013) 40: 169. doi:10.1007/s11414-012-9312-0
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Housing First is a form of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless consumers with mental health and substance abuse issues. In light of the model’s growing popularity and wide diffusion, researchers and policy makers have identified a need to better understand its critical ingredients and the processes through which they affect consumer outcomes. Researchers used a bottom-up approach to understand the critical ingredients of Housing First within community-based programs. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 60 informants (staff and consumers) across 4 “successful” Housing First programs. Qualitative analysis demonstrated six program ingredients to be essential: (1) a low-threshold admissions policy, (2) harm reduction, (3) eviction prevention, (4) reduced service requirements, (5) separation of housing and services, and (6) consumer education.