Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Research. People Who Experience Long-Term Homelessness: Characteristics and Interventions. A Better Understanding of the Need for Ongoing Supportive Services and Long-Term Outcomes After Entering Housing

09/01/2007

Research on promising efforts in the areas of supportive housing and Safe Havens should expand information on recruitment and tenant selection (e.g., who does and does not gain admission to the programs), program exits (e.g., who leaves and why), and transitions to other types of housing. More evidence is needed to better understand long-term needs for housing assistance, treatment, and supportive services for chronically homeless people who leave supportive housing.

Recent studies suggest that the duration and intensity of services can be tailored to the clinical needs of the client, and that some homeless people with disabilities who enter housing are able to maintain their housing and sustain other positive outcomes, with less intensive direct support and linkages to other community services, after a period of transitional support. However, the duration and intensity of services required to sustain housing requires further study and evaluation. The Self-Sufficiency Matrix developed by the Arizona Evaluation Project on Homelessness (Flaherty, 2004) could provide a useful tool in determining how clinical and support services can be tapered at the individual level without jeopardizing gains.

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