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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Newsletters | January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008    

    POLICY  \|  DATA + RESEARCH  \|  TOOL + TRAINING  \|  NEWS + MEDIA Forward Editor: Samantha Batko    
   
 
Spotlight On...
Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of Housing First

A study of residents of two Seattle Housing First projects has shown significant benefits to homeless individuals and the community. The preliminary study compared tenants' behavior, use of services, and involvement in the criminal justice system 12 months prior to entering housing and for the 12 months after. The results for one of the projects, 1811 Eastlake, showed tenants' use of crisis services declined substantially, resulting in a $2.5 million savings to public systems:

 

Tenants also reduced their use of alcohol:

 

1811 Eastlake is operated by the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC), and houses 75 formerly homeless men and women with chronic alcohol addiction. DESC worked with county officials to identify people who were the most frequent users of crisis services. Of the 79 people they approached with an offer of housing, 75 accepted. Tenants had been homeless an average of 31 of the prior 36 months before moving in.

Similar findings were reported for another housing first program, Plymouth on Stewart, which is operated by the Plymouth Housing Group in Seattle:

  • The need for medical respite was eliminated;
  • Emergency department visits declined 74 percent; and
  • Sobering center admissions declined 97 percent.

     

    More Information

  • One third reduction in the number of days residents used alcohol to the point of intoxication and
  • 63 percent increase in abstinence from drinking alcohol.

  • 92 percent fewer nights in emergency shelter;
  • 87 percent fewer admissions to sobering centers;
  • 45 percent fewer bookings to county jail; and
  • 41 percent fewer medical expenses.
 

 


Congress Back in Session
After the holiday recess the House will be back in session today and the Senate will return on January 22.

House to Consider HOPE VI Bill
This Thursday, January 17, the full House is expected to consider H.R. 3524, a bill to reauthorize HUD'S Hope VI program. The bill, introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, would make a number of important changes to the program, including requiring a one-for-one replacement ratio for all units and a right to return for current public housing residents. Further, the bill includes a provision that plans for replacement housing must address the needs of "hard-to-house families," specifically people who have spent time in state or federal prison but have completed the terms of their probation or parole and have remained crime-free for an additional year. The bill passed the House Financial Services committee in September.

Nurse.com, a website showcasing nursing and health news, featured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) findings on how homeless or unstably housed people are at an increased risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and experience an increase in adverse health affects if they already have HIV. The CDC journal AIDS and Behavior found that homeless or unstably housed persons were two to six times more likely to "have recently used hard drugs, shared needles, or exchanged sex" than similar low-income persons who were stably housed. Since housing assistance allowed people to achieve both physical and mental stability, drug and sexual risk behaviors associated with a lack of stability decreased, proving that the condition of homelessness, and not simply traits of homeless individuals, influences risk behaviors and healthcare utilization.

 
 
   ABOUT US
 
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

www.endhomelessness.org


 
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