Final report on the evaluation of the Closer to Home Initiative

Susan Barrow


This is the final report on the evaluation of the Closer to Home Initiative, a program developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to foster new approaches to helping homeless people with multiple problems and disabilities. The research focuses on six programs that aim to engage and house people whose combinations of disabilities, long histories of homelessness, and repeated use of emergency services have marked them as “difficult to serve.” The study was designed to describe the program models, document their implementation and development over time, and assess outcomes achieved by an initial cohort of individuals. The report concludes that screening and structure can create supportive environments for disabled, long-term homeless individuals who will agree to structured environments and participation in treatment and services, but harm reduction approaches that house a diverse mix of tenants, divide responsibilities for support services and property management, and offer ongoing access to treatment and support during relapse are effective and will be necessary to ensure stability for broad segments of the homeless population with significant barriers to housing.

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