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Assessing the Applicability of Housing First Models for Homeless Persons with Serious Mental Illness

Under subcontract to Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Abt Global' role in this study is to identify and describe various models of the Housing First approach and then to study three of those models in more detail. The key feature of the Housing First approach is immediate placement of seriously mentally ill, homeless clients in permanent housing without requiring the client to commit to a service plan. The main goal of this study is to identify the basic components of the Housing First model by examining outcomes in three programs that offer similar but slightly different variants of the model. The three programs are Pathways to Housing in New York City; the REACH program in San Diego, CA; and Downtown Emergency Service Center in Seattle, WA. For each program, we will conduct site visits, track 25 clients for a twelve-month period, and hold focus groups with clients to assess their experiences in and satisfaction with the Housing First model.