What we're asking in housing
Do supportive services improve housing and quality-of-life outcomes for chronically homeless individuals?
More than half a million people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness. While rates of homelessness continue to decline, lack of safe and sustainable housing remains a serious public health issue. In addition to housing-related financial support (e.g., employment assistance, Housing First programs, targeted rental/housing subsidies), chronically homeless individuals living with mental or substance use issues may need treatment, case management, and discharge planning services.
PRG has conducted three evaluations of housing and supportive services programs in New Orleans – to assess changes in housing stability, substance use, and mental health after program participation.
This brief describes results from implementation and outcome evaluations of two programs designed to serve chronically homeless individuals in New Orleans through a Housing First approach. Both were designed by UNITY of Greater New Orleans and were funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI).
New Orleans Equity and Inclusion Initiative (NOEII)
Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), the New Orleans Equity and Inclusion Initiative (NOEII) aimed to reduce chronic homelessness in New Orleans by placing individuals and families in permanent housing and connecting clients to services such as Medicaid, mental health and substance use treatment, social connection support, and employment. PRG conducted an implementation evaluation, as well as an outcome evaluation, that assessed client-level changes in housing status, substance use, and psychosocial functioning. Findings indicate that client-reported satisfaction was high, and those in need experienced statistically significant increases in psychosocial functioning; program clients did not, however, demonstrate significant reductions in substance use.
New Day Program
Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), the New Day Program aimed to reduce chronic homelessness in New Orleans, Louisiana by providing permanent housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals. As part of the evaluation of the effect of the program, PRG conducted a qualitative study using data collected in interviews with the New Day Program staff.