Permanent Supportive Housing Works for the Chronically Homeless, Study Says

A groundbreaking study provides some of the strongest evidence yet of the powerful results of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.

2 minute read

September 21, 2020, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

California Homeless

Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock

Marisa Kendall shares news on a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) that reveals big successes for Project Welcome Home in housing chronically homeless residents of Santa Clara County.

"The first-of-its-kind study found 86% of participants received housing and then stayed housed throughout nearly the entire duration of the study," reports Kendall.

The UCSF research team says that these findings are groundbreaking "because they show that permanent supportive housing — which provides subsidized housing paired with counseling, mental health, addiction and other services — is helping the county’s most difficult cases," according to Kendall. 

Project Welcome Home is a $19 million project that used a lottery system between 2015 and 2019 to provide housing for the chronically homeless. The participants in the program were offered counseling, addiction treatment, and other help from the nonprofit Abode Services.

The results of the study do come with the caveat that supportive housing, while effective in this program, is not a silver bullet. "Seventy of the 443 participants died during the course of the study, including 19% of those who received housing," according to Kendall, who also lists other caveats.

The source article includes a lot more details on Project Welcome Home, the study's methodologies and findings, and the implications of the study for homeless policies in the Bay Area and state of California.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 in The Mercury News

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