“The Apartment is for You, It’s Not for Anyone Else”: Managing Social Recovery and Risk on the Frontlines of Single-Adult Supportive Housing

  • Emmy TideringtonEmail author
Original Article


This multi-method qualitative study examines frontline provider perspectives on consumer social relationships and barriers to social recovery in supportive housing programs for adults with serious mental illness. Thematic analyses show that guest and occupancy policies that enforce the “single” nature of single-adult supportive housing challenge consumer rights to self-determination in the realm of social recovery. Findings also highlight the ways in which providers act to reinforce and subvert these policies while mitigating risk in this service setting. Recommendations for enhancing the recovery orientation of supportive housing and implications for the design of the homeless service system are discussed.


Mental health recovery Supportive housing Case management Qualitative 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH F31MH100772), as well as a fellowship from the New York University Global Research Initiative. The author would like to acknowledge Drs. Deborah Padgett and Victoria Stanhope and the study team from the larger parent study (NIMH R01MH084903).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author reports no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkRutgers, The State University of New JerseyNewarkUSA

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