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)

Housing First reduces use of Emergency Medical Services

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)

Study highlights promising pharmaceutical intervention for alcohol-dependent tenants at DESC

DESC worked with researchers from the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center to pilot the addition of a pharmaceutical intervention to assist alcohol-dependent housing tenants with improvements in their alcohol outcomes. A small study documented a strong desire by tenants to try the intervention, and subsequent improvements in alcohol use outcomes for those who participated. The pilot study led to funding for a larger study currently underway. See:

Extended-release Naltrexone and Harm Reduction Counseling for Chronically Homeless People with Alcohol Dependence – Substance Abuse (Published online: April 29, 2014)