Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research. Housing Models. Synthesis of Research Literature:  Findings and Discussion


Research indicates that housing with services, especially for homeless single adults with serious mental illness, increases housing tenure, reduces hospital stays, and reduces homelessness (Rog, 2004). However, conducting rigorous research on how this comes about and which models are most effective is extremely challenging. Random assignment studies are rare, and even well-matched comparison studies are difficult to construct and implement. Further, measuring both the interventions and the outcomes across programs is very complicated. Developing reliable, replicable measures of the housing provided and the services received is problematic given the diversity of program approaches, housing market conditions, staff capacity, and other variables that are beyond researchers control.

These factors make it very difficult to answer the question foremost in the minds of policymakers and program administrators: what works best for whom? In this section, we attempt to shed light on this complex question by describing a broad range of program models for families and individuals, from those providing short-term or transitional housing and services interventions to those designed to provide permanent housing and long-term supports. We review the unfortunately quite limited research findings on the outcomes of those models.

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