Understanding the support in supportive housing
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Understanding the “Support” in Supportive Housing. Richard Cho 100,000 Homes Campaign “All Hands on Deck” Call September 14, 2011. Corporation for Supportive Housing.

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Understanding the “Support” in Supportive Housing

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Understanding the support in supportive housing

Understanding the “Support” in Supportive Housing

Richard Cho

100,000 Homes Campaign

“All Hands on Deck” Call

September 14, 2011


Corporation for supportive housing

Corporation for Supportive Housing

CSH is a national non-profit organization that helps communities create permanent housing with services to prevent and end homelessness.

CSH advances its mission through advocacy, expertise, innovation, lending, and grant-making.


Key questions

Key Questions

  • What is supportive housing?

  • What are the services in supportive housing?

  • How can we pay for the services in supportive housing?


What is supportive housing

What is Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing is

permanent, affordable housing

combined with

a range of

supportive services

that help

people with special needs

live stable and independent lives.


Who is supportive housing for

Who is Supportive Housing For?

People who:

  • But for housing cannot access and make effective use of treatment and supportive services in the community;

    and

  • But for supportive services cannot access and maintain stable housing in the community.


Supportive housing comes in many forms

Supportive Housing Comes in Many Forms

  • Apartment buildings exclusively housing formerly homeless individuals and/or families.

  • Rent subsidized apartments leased in open market.

  • Apartment buildings with mixed income households, including the formerly homeless.

  • Long-term set aside of units within privately owned buildings.

  • Services integrated within existing affordable housing developments.

  • Single family homes, including shared housing environments.


More than housing services

More than Housing + Services

  • Simply pairing rent subsidies or affordable housing units with services does not make supportive housing

  • In supportive housing, housing and services linked such that whole is greater than sum of parts (synergistic effect):

    • Services informs housing/property management

    • Housing’s function viewed as platform for improving outcomes for most vulnerable

  • Not just any services – Supportive housing entails specific approach to services


What is the services model in supportive housing

What is the Services Model in Supportive Housing?

  • Ironically, the “support” in supportive housing is most difficult aspect of the model to describe

  • Usual approaches fall short:

    • The “laundry list”

    • Titles like “case manager,” “services coordinator”

    • Staffing ratios (e.g. “1:20” or “1:15”)

    • Terms and phrases like “flexible,” “comprehensive,” “voluntary vs. mandatory”

  • Need better deconstruction of services in supportive housing


What do we know about the people supportive housing tries to reach

What Do We Know About the People Supportive Housing Tries to Reach?

  • Chronic behavioral health challenges (mental illness, substance use, often co-occurring)

  • Physical health/medical challenges

  • Long histories of homelessness (lack of recent experience living in housing) and instability

  • Likely to engage in “risky” behaviors

  • Often involved in multiple public service settings

  • May be “resistant” to services and change


Mismatch of various service modalities

Mismatch of Various Service Modalities


Why do these approaches fail

Why Do These Approaches Fail?

  • Presume same “needs hierarchy” between services provider and tenant

  • Fail to recognize tenant’s past negative experiences with services

  • Assume that tenant’s own behaviors, patterns, actions are the main source of pathology

  • Expectation of change in short-term despite long history and pattern of instability


Competing need hierarchies

Competing Need Hierarchies?

Provider’s Assumed Hierarchy of Tenant’s Needs

Tenant’s Actual Hierarchy of Own Needs


Implications for services

Implications for Services

  • Having pre-determined and proscribed set of service goals will lead to disappointment

  • Requiring services participation as condition of tenancy does not work if tenant values independence greater than housing

    • Given long history of having no housing, individuals may not feel the “value” of housing immediately

  • Judgmental attitude towards behaviors will encourage tenants to lie or disengage

  • Services must overcome perception of negativity

  • Recognize that change will take a long time, will be incremental, and non-linear


Key considerations for effective services in supportive housing

Key Considerations for Effective Services in Supportive Housing

  • Emphasis on engagement, rapport building

  • Goal of services should be to help individuals remain housed through problem-solving

    • Help them retain housing at least long enough to help them rebuild attachment and develop healthy fear of losing housing again

  • Place tenant in driver seat of goal setting

  • Non-judgmental attitude increases open communication and ability to anticipate problems

  • Allow for incremental change

  • Cultivate sense of self-care and wellness through compassion not condescension or coercion


A simple theory of change for supportive housing

A Simple Theory of Change for Supportive Housing

Tenants are chronically homeless, have complex health conditions, and are resistant to change

Troubleshooting of Housing Problems / Lease Violations

Prioritization and Placement in Housing

Housing Stability

Connection to and Coordination of Needed Services (Health, Behavioral Health, Employment)

Motivational Enhancement and Empowerment

Engagement and Rapport Building

Services Goal Setting

Improved Health and Social Outcomes (Recovery)


Three functions of services

Three Functions of Services

Tenants are chronically homeless, have complex health conditions, and are resistant to change

Troubleshooting of Housing Problems / Lease Violations

Prioritization and Placement in Housing

Housing Stability

Connection to and Coordination of Needed Services (Health, Behavioral Health, Employment)

Motivational Enhancement and Empowerment

Engagement and Rapport Building

Services Goal Setting

Improved Health and Social Outcomes (Recovery)


Revisioning the services in supportive housing as three stool legs

Revisioning the Services in Supportive Housing as Three “Stool Legs”


Enables understanding of link to new payment systems under medicaid

Enables Understanding of Link to New Payment Systems Under Medicaid


Most services in sh match medicaid eligible services

Most Services in SH Match Medicaid Eligible Services

  • Analysis “crosswalking” services in supportive housing with 1915c Home and Community Based Services found that:

    • 61% of services matched HCBS by category/type

    • 85% of service hours delivered were of those types that matched HCBS


The future

The Future

  • In the future, will supportive housing’s services model be assembled in a modular fashion and through new organizational?

    • Linkage to Health Homes (e.g. FQHCs) to pay for care management?

    • Home and Community Based Services to reimburse rehabilitative services?

    • State grant or federal MH or SA block grant funds to pay for housing stability supports?


Shift in emphasis and capacity of supportive housing services

Shift in Emphasis and Capacity of Supportive Housing Services?


Contact

Contact

Richard Cho

Director, Innovations & Research

[email protected]


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