142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Policy recommendations to address factors that impact the health and wellness of individuals living in a Housing First program: Results from the Neighborhood Services Organization/Bell Oakland University Partnership PhotoVoice Project

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Rebecca R. Cheezum, PhD, MPH , School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Tia Cobb, LMSW , Homeless Recovery Services, Neighborhood Services Organization, Detroit, MI
Susan Barnes, BSN, RN-BC, QMHP , Homeless Recovery Services, Neighborhood Services Organization, Detroit, MI
Matthew Rosso , Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Nicholas Niewolak , Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Sophia Pingul , Neighborhood Services Organization, Detroit, MI
People who are homeless often have significant physical health problems, addictions, trauma, mental health concerns, and mortality rates.  The Bell Building (Bell), an initiative of the Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) in Detroit, is a program that uses a “Housing First” approach to provide stable, permanent housing to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.  Residing in housing and having support services available to tenants provides new opportunities to focus on health, but it is also likely that the social and structural forces that contribute to poverty and homelessness continue to impact the tenants of Bell and affect their health.

The NSO/Bell-OU Partnership is a community-based participatory research partnership between NSO and Oakland University.  The NSO/Bell-OU Partnership implemented a PhotoVoice project with tenants of the Bell Building. As part of the PhotoVoice project, participants received training on basic photography techniques, safety, and ethics, received cameras, and took photos on themes of health and wellness.  Participants selected photos for group discussion.  A policy advocacy training was offered and ran parallel to the PhotoVoice project. The research study culminated in two exhibits where community members and policy makers were invited.  Study participants also took part in a focus group to discuss their experience in the study.

Results from this study will be discussed, including factors that impact the health and wellness of Bell tenants and tenants’ suggestions on how to address these factors through programs and policy change. Benefits and challenges of providing policy advocacy training in association with a PhotoVoice project will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the history of the NSO/Bell-OU CBPR Partnership Explain key characteristics of PhotoVoice research methodology List factors that Bell tenants have identified as factors that contribute to their health and wellness Describe benefits and challenges of providing policy advocacy training in association with a PhotoVoice project. Discuss program and policy recommendations to address these factors in order to improve the health of tenants residing in a Housing First building.

Keyword(s): Homelessness, Community-Based Research (CBPR)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant professor in the Master of Public Health and Health Sciences Programs at Oakland University. I am the principle investigator for the PhotoVoice study, the results of which will be presented.
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.