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FINANCE / HOUSING

Impact of a Housing First intervention on homeless Veterans with mental illness: a Canadian multisite randomized controlled trial

October, 2015
Article:

In Canada, estimates are that one in four Veterans may struggle to adjust to the transition from military life to civilian life. In a Canadian survey, 25% of Veteran respondents reported a difficult adjustment to civilian life, exemplified by worse health, disability, and determinants of health status than the general population. This study provides evidence of the role of service-oriented factors, including low income, sex, and intermediate factors such as obesity, as key determinants of a subset of chronic physical health conditions in Canadian Veterans.

Abstract

A large proportion of homeless Veterans live with severe mental health problems. We examine the impact of a Housing First program that included recovery-oriented initiatives (assertive community treatment or intensive case management) among those homeless Veterans who participated in a multisite demonstration project on homelessness and mental health. The Housing First approach was effective in improving housing stability, social functioning, and quality of life in homeless Veterans with mental health problems. These results are consistent with the intervention's effectiveness with other homeless Canadians with mental health problems. These results are consistent with those of previous US studies and suggest that a Housing First approach that includes recovery-oriented support would effectively contribute to reducing homelessness in the Canadian Veteran population.

Full Reference

Impact of a Housing First intervention on homeless Veterans with mental illness: a Canadian multisite randomized controlled trial. Jimmy Bourque, Linda VanTil, Caroline Gibbons, Stefanie Renee LeBlanc, Liette-Andrée Landry, Jacinthe LeBlanc, Jitender Sareen, Kathy Darte, Brianna Kopp, and Faye More. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2015 1:2, 52-60.

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