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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/511

Title: Helping the homeless: program evaluation of Philadelphia’s supportive housing program
Authors: Bolton, Cathy J.H.
Keywords: Clinical psychology;Public housing;Homeless persons--Mental health services
Issue Date: 11-Aug-2005
Abstract: The objective of this research was to determine the clinical effectiveness of the Supportive Housing Project of Philadelphia. This project targeted homeless individuals with diagnoses of severe mental illnesses. Three community behavioral health centers provided clinical supports for 122 clients across a five-year time frame (1997 – 2001). This research sought to address two questions. First, did participants show progress toward achieving program outcome goals? Second, could systematic predictors of improvement (or lack of improvement) be identified? The design of the program evaluation was that of time-series reflexive controls. This is analogous to a repeated measure design using hierarchical random regression. Assessments were completed by case managers each month and by trained evaluators each quarter. The assessment points for each client were fitted to a curve, and the growth trajectories were examined to determine program success as measured by the individuals’ rates of change (or slopes). Specifically three definitions of success were defined for interpretation of the slopes (rates of change). It was found that this program as implemented was successful in helping the homeless. Using the most stringent definition of success, the following results were found. Housing Stability was achieved for 84% of the clients. Management of psychiatric symptoms was achieved for 80% of the clients. Attainment of adult living skills was achieved for 73% of the clients. Socialization goals were met for 72% of the clients. Quality of life goals were met for 54% of the clients. Predictors of individual differences in growth trajectories were examined to determine their potential impact on the rate of change. Predictors included: demographic variables, baseline measure and length of stay, complexity and severity of illnesses, customer satisfaction, and compliance with treatment. The baseline measure (as represented by the intercept) was predictive of the growth rate across all measures. Substance abuse history was a significant correlate of housing instability. Modest correlations were found for other predictors. Recommendations are offered to improve the success of supportive housing programs, and for further research in this area.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/511
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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