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)
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)