243288 Housing chronically homeless Veterans: Evaluating the efficacy of a housing first approach to HUD-VASH

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:10 PM

Ann Elizabeth Montgomery, PhD, MPA, MSSW , School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Lindsay Hill, BA , National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Philadelphia, PA
Laura Zeilinger , Department of Human Services, Government of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Vincent Kane, MSW , National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Philadelphia, PA
Ending homelessness among Veterans—specifically those experiencing chronic homelessness—is a national priority, supported by the Interagency Council on Homelessness and the White House. Permanent supportive housing has been identified as an effective intervention for ending chronic homelessness and the housing first approach has had success in quickly housing chronically homeless individuals and helping them maintain long-term housing stability. To meet the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) goal of ending homelessness among Veterans in 5 years, it collaborated with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to develop HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), which provides Housing Choice vouchers and supportive services to recently homeless Veterans.

A collaboration between the Department of Human Services (DHS) in Washington, D.C., and the local VA Medical Center—two agencies with distinct philosophies on housing chronically homeless Veterans— provides the opportunity to explore whether a housing first approach can target the most vulnerable homeless Veterans and quickly place them in permanent supportive housing. Both agencies were allocated a set of vouchers; DHS implemented a housing first approach while the VA Medical Center operated under a more traditional model. This presentation will describe DHS' supportive services model and will compare the outcomes for Veterans housed via housing first by DHS and those receiving care as usual by the VA Medical Center. Outcomes include time to placement in housing, housing stability, and receipt of supportive services. Lessons learned from this initiative as well as the replicability of this effort will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe a community-based approach to rapidly housing chronically homeless Veterans. 2. To compare housing-related outcomes for Veterans who were housed using a housing first approach and those who were housed through a more traditional continuum of care.

Keywords: Homelessness, Veterans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research with the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.