Evaluation of the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH)

Summary of CICH Interim Reports

This summary is available on the Internet at:




A cornerstone effort of the increased focus on chronic homelessness was the development of the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH), an innovative demonstration project coordinated by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), jointly funded by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS [SAMHSA and HRSA]), and Veterans Affairs (VA). Recognizing that homelessness is an issue that cuts across various agencies in the federal government, this unique effort across Departments offered permanent housing and supportive service funding through a consolidated application process. The evaluation of the CICH is supported by HHS (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation), VA, and HUD, and is being conducted by the VA's Northeast Program Evaluation Center.

This jointly funded $55 million demonstration ($35 million funding in 2003, with $20 million added in subsequent years) initiated in 2003 focuses on improving outcomes for chronically homeless individuals by making funding available to support 11 communities working to integrate housing and treatment services for disabled individuals who have experienced long-term and/or repeated homelessness. The following six core services are provided for 3-5 years: permanent supportive housing, case management, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, primary health care, and veteran's health services. The sites include: Chattanooga TN; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Denver CO; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Martinez, CA; New York NY; Philadelphia PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA.


The evaluation includes both client and system components. For the client component, 1,242 individuals were enrolled into the program, and of those persons, 734 (59 percent) participated in the evaluation and gave their written informed consent to be part of the research sample. Local VA research staff administered quarterly follow-up assessments during the first years of the evaluation. For the system component, a network participation survey gathering information about characteristics of the lead and partner agencies at each site such as system integration was administered at baseline and each year thereafter for two additional years.

Client Outcomes

Interim data on client service use and outcomes at baseline and after the first 12 months of program participation indicate the following:

System Outcomes

Interim system-level findings after the initial two years of the CICH included:

The preliminary client outcome findings suggest that a diverse population of chronically homeless adults with disabling conditions can successfully be housed and can maintain their housing when provided with a mix of permanent housing; intensive case management; and access to physical health services, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment. The interim network findings highlight several positive trends in the characteristics and activities of CICH networks over the first two years of the study.

Additional reports on clients and agencies involved in the CICH for 3 years will be available in the future.


Peggy Halpern, Paul Dornan, Pete Dougherty, Anne Fletcher, Cynthia High, Mark Johnston, Robyn Raysor, and Gay Koerber participated in the Federal Funders CICH Evaluation Group representing HUD, DHHS, and VA provided essential oversight and review on earlier drafts of this paper.

We wish to acknowledge specifically the CICH evaluation site coordinators who coordinated data collection at their sites: Joyce Jones and Daniel White (Chattanooga), Eugene Herskovic (Chicago), JuanitaWilson (Columbus), Richard DiBlasio (Denver), Daniel Robbin and Elaine Stein (Ft. Lauderdale), John Nakashima (Los Angeles), Phyllis Larimore (Martinez), Julie Irwin (New York), Vincent Kane and Kimberly Lewis (Philadelphia), Lawrence Brennan (Portland), and Charlene Nason (San Francisco).

Brandi Williams coordinated data management at the VA Northeast Program

Evaluation Center (NEPEC) and Dennis Thompson provided computer programming support.

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Evaluation of the CICH: Project Page
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Last updated:  02/25/08