An Evaluation of an Initiative to Improve Coordination and Service Delivery of Homeless Services Networks
Greg A. Greenberg and Robert A. Rosenheck
In 2003, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs initiated a major service demonstration, the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (CICH). CICH focused on improving outcomes for chronically homeless people by making funding available to provide five core services at each site: (1) permanent supportive housing, (2) mental health treatment, (3) substance abuse treatment, (4) primary health care, and (5) veteran health services. In this study, researchers utilize data from the 11 communities in which CICH was implemented to examine four questions reflecting central objectives of this initiative at the service system level. This report highlights several positive trends in the characteristics and activities of CICH networks over the course of this initiative. The most notable trend was the significant increase over the two year study period in the implementation of practices that encourage system integration, as well as in levels of system integration, particularly on the measure of joint service planning and coordination. The researchers also found that the implementation of practices intended to encourage system integration was significantly and positively correlated with measured levels of integration.