Active Research Projects

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  • Principal Investigators
  • Co-investigators

Expanding Housing First for homeless adults in Metro Vancouver

Population and public health, Social and health policy sciences
Posted: June 24, 2015

Principal Investigators

Somers, J


McCandless L, Verdun-Jones S, Palepu A, O’Neil J, Bingham B, Rezansoff S, Russolillo A,Moniruzzaman A, Patterson M


CIHR Population Health Intervention Research - $200,000




  Ending chronic homelessness is a pressing health and social policy concern in communities across Canada. In response to growing homelessness, the At Home/Chez Soi Study (2009-13) was funded to examine the effectiveness of a Housing First (HF) approach to supported housing for homeless adults with chronic health problems in 5 Canadian cities. Upon completion of At Home/Chez Soi in 2013, the Federal Government extended funding to the Homeless Partnering Strategy (HPS) with a focus on HF. The current HPS program cycle (2014-19) will provide direct funding to communities to support efforts that address local needs and priorities for homeless individuals. The broader implementation of HF in Metro Vancouver, through service agencies awarded HPS funding, serves as a natural experiment that will have a large impact on how housing and related services are provided to the homeless individuals across the region who are the "hardest-to-house" within the traditional model of care. All HPS programs need to be implemented by 9/30/2016, and there is a need for timely evaluation of the program's efficacy in achieving outcomes for the most vulnerable and chronically homeless. We propose to address two primary research questions related to the implementation of HPS in Metro Vancouver: (1) Does the program recruit participants who are highly vulnerable, including chronically homeless adults with complex health problems? (2) Do participants demonstrate positive change at 6 to 18 months post-HF across important health (e.g., hospitalization, continuity of primary care, medications, chronic disease) and health equity (e.g., housing stability, social assistance, justice involvement) outcomes? Our multidisciplinary team of academics, government decision-makers and community service providers are uniquely able to evaluate the effectiveness of HPS in Metro Vancouver and to ensure that the benefits of HF are reaching those most in need and are sustained over time.