A potentially important difference between sites is the percentage of subjects who were already housed and living in their own place at baseline (28% overall, ranging from 4% in Ft. Lauderdale, Philadelphia, and Portland, to 38% (Los Angeles), 41% (Denver), and 84% (San Francisco)). Since more than one in four participants were already in permanent independent housing before informed consent could be obtained (i.e. at the time the baseline assessment was administered) , we examined differences in baseline characteristics between subjects who were housed at baseline, and those not yet housed, as well in subsequent service use and outcomes.
Adjusting for site, those living in their own place at the time of the baseline interview were less likely to be veterans (18% vs. 35%), had a higher levels of mental functioning on the SF-12 (40.4 vs. 38.3), and were less distressed due to psychiatric symptoms (1.36 vs. 1.59) (Table 5), perhaps reflecting fewer impediments to entering into housing and/ or the positive short-term effects of being housed. These individual characteristics were also included as covariates in subsequent multivariate analyses to adjust for potentially confounding effect of housing status at baseline on longitudinal service use patterns and client outcomes.