Supportive Housing as a Foundation for Recovery: Homelessness, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Housing
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Supportive Housing as a Foundation for Recovery: Homelessness, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Housing Laura Gillis, RN, MS HRC Project Director PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Supportive Housing as a Foundation for Recovery: Homelessness, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Housing Laura Gillis, RN, MS HRC Project Director. HRC: Homelessness Resource Center.

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Supportive Housing as a Foundation for Recovery: Homelessness, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Housing Laura Gillis, RN, MS HRC Project Director

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Supportive housing as a foundation for recovery homelessness co occurring disorders and housing laura gillis rn ms

Supportive Housing as a Foundation for Recovery: Homelessness, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Housing

Laura Gillis, RN, MS

HRC Project Director


Hrc homelessness resource center

HRC: Homelessness Resource Center

  • Seeks to improve the daily lives of people affected by homelessness and who have mental health and substance use disorders and trauma histories.  We seek to achieve this mission by: 

    • Increasing awareness, knowledge of resources, and capacity to help people experiencing homelessness

    • Integrating and transforming homelessness service systems

    • Supporting the implementation of the 10-Year Plans to end homelessness

    • Supporting the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

    • Facilitating communication and collaboration among providers, researchers, policy makers, and consumers


Hrc homelessness resource center1

HRC: Homelessness Resource Center

  • Our work includes:

    • Training and technical assistance

    • Publications

    • On-line learning opportunities

    • Networking

    • www.homeless.samhsa.gov


Hrc homelessness resource center2

HRC: Homelessness Resource Center

  • Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • Operated by the Institute on Homelessness and Trauma

    • Organization of clinicians, social scientists, policy analysts, consumers and educators dedicated to using knowledge to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. 

    • Our mission is to bring theory onto the streets by applying knowledge of best practices to real world settings.


Supportive housing as a foundation for recovery homelessness co occurring disorders and housing laura gillis rn ms

Poems, Pictures, and Other Great Stuff. (1996). Salem-Keizer Public Schools. Salem, Oregon.


Family permanent supportive housing

Family Permanent Supportive Housing

  • Reviewed characteristics of 13 FPSH programs - quantitative and qualitative data

  • Profiles of program participants

  • Progress over time on three outcomes

    • Housing stability

    • Family reunification

    • Self support

Corporation for Supportive Housing (2006). Family Permanent Supportive Housing: preliminary research on family characteristics, program models, and outcomes.


Family permanent supportive housing findings

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Findings

  • Characteristics of families varied substantially when compared to families in emergency shelters and transitional housing

    • Mothers are older, better educated, have a longer and more complex history of homelessness, and may have “special needs” such as mental health and substance use issues

    • Subgroup of homeless families with more intense needs – characteristics of chronically homeless


Family permanent supportive housing findings1

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Findings

  • Programs had many similarities but some significant differences

    • All offered case management services

    • Majority offered on-site service options

    • Services were not family focused

    • Intensity of services was limited, e.g. one service contact per week


Family permanent supportive housing findings2

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Findings

  • Differences in outcomes appear to be related to the control the programs exerted over residents and participants’ difficulties engaging in critical services.

    • High demand programs more successful at family reunification and increasing employment rates and income

    • Low demand programs more successful in retaining families in housing


Family permanent supportive housing findings3

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Findings

  • The relationship between a client and staff member can become the decisive factor in re-setting the direction of a client’s life.

    • Provides the leverage necessary to empower clients to access services

    • May eliminate necessity of creating stringent rules for program participation

    • Trusting relationships take time

    • Developing a sustaining relationship rarely occurs in a linear fashion


Family permanent supportive housing recommendations

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Recommendations

  • Focus on active outreach and engagement

  • Gather information about exposure to traumatic stress and add trauma informed services to all programs.

  • Reconsider the brokered model of case management

  • Account for the needs of the children and

    their impact on the family.


Family permanent supportive housing recommendations1

Family Permanent Supportive Housing: Recommendations

  • Further research should focus on

    • examining the key ingredients and processes by which FPSH helps (or fails to help) families achieve residential stability, self-sufficiency, and family reunification,

    • developing a typology of the homeless families population (including homeless children) to better understand differential housing and service needs

    • determining which families do best in which FPSH programs and then comparing the outcomes of FPSH to other housing models


Limitations of study

Limitations of Study

  • Available data were collected by three distinct research efforts

    • one of which includes five separate studies

    • one a single study of seven different programs

    • one a single study of which the family programs were only one part.

    • each data set has a unique study design employing different data collection and sampling strategies that limit the ability to compare data across programs and to draw conclusions from these comparisons.


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