What is Housing First? And Why Is There a Focus on Housing First?
First, research demonstrates that Housing First is effective in promoting housing stability, particularly among people who have experienced homelessness for long periods of time and have serious psychiatric disabilities, substance use disorders and other disabilities.
Housing First is an orientation that people can move quickly from homelessness to housing. We start from an understanding that homelessness can be most efficiently ended by providing someone with access to safe, decent and affordable housing.
Evidence Based Intervention
Housing First is also an evidence based intervention that uses an Intensive Case Management model. This can be an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) or Critical Time Intervention (CTI) model. But with out a low staff to client ratio you can not do Housing First evidence based intervention.
Goals and practices of a Housing First Program include:
• Client directs services choice: the sequence, type and frequency of service
• Program provides immediate access to permanent housing plus the support services needed to address client needs/goals
• Recovery orientation: Improve quality of life, social inclusion
The Pathways to Housing program has two key components:
1. Rent voucher or rent subsidy
2. Mobile community based support teams providing home visits (ideally interdisciplinary team using a team approach)
You can consider Housing First a complex clinical intervention that includes a housing component.
And there are two program requirements:
1. Standard lease: meet terms and conditions of a standard lease (pay 30% of income towards rent and maintain responsibilities)
2. Agree to home visits by support staff (weekly or as often as needed)
Agencies that engage in Housing First should be:
Responsible for engagement
Responsible for continuity of care
Include participants voice in the Housing First program.
You can learn more about Housing First: https://www.pathwayshousingfirst.org