Welcome to the fifth volume of the Housing First Research Digest!
This edition of the Housing First Research Digest is curated by Daniel Hoey (Focus Ireland), member of the Housing First Europe Hub Research Work Cluster.
The focus of this edition of the research digest is on studies which look at Housing First for young people, or Housing First for Youth (HF4Y).
The research included in this edition is a varied and accessible selection; featuring a systematic review of the impact of interventions for youth experiencing homelessness (including Housing First), a recent evaluation of the first HF4Y service in Europe, and a paper from the ground-breaking Canadian At Home/Chez Soi study which evaluated the effect of Housing First on housing stability in homeless youth with a mental illness. Finally, a very interesting and comprehensive Masters thesis from the grey literature is included that explored the domain of social integration in a HF4Y intervention in Ottawa through a mixed methods approach.
The impact of interventions for youth experiencing homelessness on housing, mental health, substance use, and family cohesion: a systematic review
Wang, J.Z., Mott, S., Magwood, O. et al. (2019)
This paper systematically searched Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and other databases from inception until February 9, 2018 for systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials on youth interventions conducted in high income countries. This review identified a variety of interventions for youth experiencing homelessness, including cognitive behavioural therapy for addressing depression, family-based therapy for substance use outcomes, and housing programs for housing stability. A key findings was that Housing First, as a structural intervention, led to improvements in housing stability for young people.
Rock Trust HF4Y Pilot – Evaluation Report
Imogen Blood, Sarah Alden and Deborah Quilgars (2020)
Rock Trust are Scotland’s youth-specific homelessness charity. The Rock Trust Housing First project supports care leavers aged 16- 25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in West Lothian. The Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) project operated as a 31-month pilot, starting in September 2017. It was the first in Europe and aimed to offer access to appropriate independent housing, provided through Almond Housing Association and West Lothian Council, alongside intensive, on-going support from project workers. This evaluation consisted of detailed monitoring data completed by project workers for nine young people, at two points in time: on moving into accommodation, and six months later. Secondly, in-depth interviews were conducted with six young people about their experience of the project. Thirdly, interviews (16 individual and 1 focus group) were conducted with project staff, the housing provider and other key professional stakeholders. This evaluation was commissioned and funded by the Housing First Europe Hub.
“Housing First” for Homeless Youth With Mental Illness
Nicole Kozloff, Carol E. Adair, Luis I. Palma Lazgare, Daniel Poremski, Amy H. Cheung, Rebeca Sandu and Vicky Stergiopoulos (2016)
This paper evaluated the effect of “Housing First” on housing stability in homeless youth aged 18 to 24 years participating in At Home/Chez Soi, a 24-month randomized trial of “Housing First” in 5 Canadian cities. 156 youth aged 18 to 24 years; 87 received “Housing First” and 69 received treatment as usual. In an adjusted analysis, youth in “Housing First” were stably housed a mean of 437 of 645 (65%) days for which data were available compared with youth in treatment as usual, who were stably housed a mean of 189 of 582 (31%) days for which data were available, resulting in an adjusted mean difference of 34%. The research concluded that “Housing First” was associated with improved housing stability in homeless youth with mental illness.
A Housing First Model for Youth and its Relation to Social Integration
Amiri, Alexandra (2020)
This mixed methods study explored how a Housing First for Youth intervention, working from an empowerment theory approach, influences the social integration of youth experiencing homelessness. This was done by contrasting quantitative data from baseline and 6-month follow-up between groups of individuals who either did (n=44) or did not (n=42) receive the HF4Y intervention and baseline narrative interviews (n=20). The findings revealed that a greater emphasis on social support and addressing knowledge gaps on how to integrate physically into the community may be beneficial for the first year after youth exit homelessness due to the tendency for feelings of isolation and loneliness to occur during this time period. Future implications for the study include following the effects of the intervention on social integration over the 2-year mark due to the nature of social integration, which is not a rapid or linear process.
Thank you for reading!
For more information about Housing First research, please contact our Saija Turunen – Researcher at the Housing First Europe Hub: firstname.lastname@example.org