University of Washington and King County researchers collaborated with DESC to examine the effects of bringing physical healthcare services to behavioral health clinics at DESC and Harborview Medical Center. Results included significant increases in access to physical health services for homeless people with serious mental illness.
Integrating Primary Care Into Community Mental Health Centers: Impact on Utilization and Costs of Health Care – Psychiatric Services (ahead of print, published online July 01, 2016)
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 Washington Institute for Mental Health Research and Training conducted a psychometric analysis of DESC’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool, concluding the tool has strong temporal and inter-rater reliability, as well as strong evidence of convergent and concurrent validity. Read the report .
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)