Supportive housing has become the dominant model in the United States to provide housing to the chronically homeless and to improve their housing stability and health. Most supportive housing programs follow a “housing first” paradigm modeled after the Pathways to Housing program in New York City. However, components of housing first supportive housing models were poorly defined, and supportive models have varied considerably in their dissemination and implementation to other parts of the country. Recently, research has been conducted to determine the fidelity by which specific housing programs adhere to the Pathways Housing First model. However, evidence regarding which combination of components leads to better health outcomes for particular subpopulations is lacking. This article presents results from qualitative interviews with supportive housing providers in the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan area. Supportive housing varied according to housing configuration (scattered-site vs. project-based) and service provision model (low-intensity case management, intensive case management and behavioral health), resulting in 6 basic types. Supportive housing programs also differed in services they provided in addition to case management and the extent to which they followed harm-reduction versus abstinence policies. Results showed advantages and disadvantages of each of the 6 basic types. Comparative effectiveness research may help identify which program components lead to better health outcomes among different subpopulations of homeless. Future longitudinal research will use the identified typology and other factors to compare the housing stability and health outcomes of supportive housing residents in programs that differ along these dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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