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Housing First benefits the whole community

A metal jump ring holds two brass keys on a white background.

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.”

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Housing First eliminates homelessness and reduces psychiatric hospitalizations

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)