Housing First is a cornerstone of DESC philosophy because our experience, backed by research, shows it is most helpful and most cost-effective for people experiencing homelessness along with substance use disorder, mental illness, and other disabling conditions. Housing First doesn’t mean “housing only.” It means, “come inside, feel comfort, privacy, and support so you have the foundation you need to pursue your goals and reconnect to the life of the community.”Continue reading “Housing First benefits the whole community”
The recent report studying the behaviors of a sample of people with repeated criminal offenses in Seattle highlighted a problem we see at DESC frequently – for some, the relationship between the criminal justice system and the streets and emergency shelters is a revolving door. Continue reading “Housing First and the Criminal Justice System”
Researchers from Depaul University and King County examined the effects of a DESC single-site Housing First program for people with serious psychiatric problems. Some tenants came from long-term street homelessness while others had less street homelessness due to lengthy psychiatric hospitalizaitons. Tenants showed high housing retention (90%) and a significant (44%) reductions in days hospitalized, in stark contrast to a comparison group who received “usual care” in the community.
Housing First as an effective model for community stabilization among vulnerable individuals with chronic and non-chronic homelessness histories – Journal of Community Psychology (Volume 44 | Issue 3, April, 2016)
This article in Housing, Care and Support describes the key features and evidence base of the “single-site” Housing First model in use at DESC, using our 1811 Eastlake program as a case study. See:
Single-site housing first for chronically homeless people – Housing, Care and Support (Volume 18 | Issue 2, 2015)
The peer-reviewed journal Prehospital Emergency Care includes a paper examining the use of EMS services by DESC supportive housing tenants before and after being housed. In the study University of Washington researchers found an average reduction of 54% in the number of contacts with EMS in the two years after obtaining housing. See:
Housing First is Associated with Reduced Use of Emergency Medical Services – Prehospital Emergency Care (Volume 18 | No.4, October-December 2014)