[Follow-up of Post-Transitional Housing for Homeless Women: Needs, Implementation and Outcomes of a Pilot Study].

Title[Follow-up of Post-Transitional Housing for Homeless Women: Needs, Implementation and Outcomes of a Pilot Study].
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGabet M, Grenier G, Perrottet D, MJ Fleury
JournalSante Ment Que
Date Published2020 Spring

Objectives Consolidation of supported housing policies is a primary source of solutions aimed at addressing the problem of homelessness. Transitional housing (TH) offers a sequential housing trajectory from emergency shelters, to TH, to permanent housing with or without supports. Post-TH follow-up may improve residential stability and community integration. Yet little information is available on successful conditions and effectiveness related to post-TH follow-up for improving residential stability and community integration among homeless people, and especially homeless women. This pilot case study aimed to identify the needs of women who were previous TH residents before acquiring permanent housing with supports, the implementation process for post-TH follow-up activities and intensity of services offered and conditions for success of the follow-up, as well as the outcomes of post-TH follow-up in meeting the needs of these homeless women. Methods Two non-profit organizations for housing reintegration in the Montreal area were selected for study. Mixed methods based on a case study approach were used, triangulating the data collected from homeless women, case managers, and housing managers. Two interviews were conducted at 6-month intervals with homeless women (n=10), whose needs and outcomes related to post-TH follow-up were identified through a questionnaire with open and closed questions. To document implementation of the post-TH follow-up, case managers (n=2) recorded information on follow-up activities and intensity of services offered for the 6-month period using contact sheets. Factors facilitating and hindering post-TH follow-up were also identified in a group interview with case managers (n=2) and resource managers (n=4). Results Users identified health maintenance, support for daily activities and improved socialization as their primary needs. Most women were satisfied with activities offered and the frequency of follow-up, ease of access to case managers, and the overall capacity of follow-up to meet their needs. The intensity of follow-up, user/case manager therapeutic alliance, and user motivation to recover were identified as facilitating factors that influenced effectiveness of post-TH follow-up. Factors that hindered effectiveness included: the limited duration of TH before post-TH follow-up particularly among users with major trauma; refractory behavior; reluctance to take medications and consumption of psychoactive substances; problems in accessing health services, particularly specialized mental health services; and for case managers: time constraints, logistical difficulties related to follow-up, and lack of affordable permanent housing adequate to user needs. After six months, 80% of users remained in their housing and no changes were identified in community integration. Conclusion Post-TH follow-up seems particularly adapted to promote residential stability among chronically homeless women with mental health or dependence issues, as the essential first step toward community integration. The study underlined the importance of offering multiple service modalities adapted to user needs and post-TH follow-up geared toward recovery. Better funding of post-TH follow-up, tighter collaboration with other public services, case manager training, and increase in affordable and adequate permanent housing would promote more effective deployment of post-TH follow-up.

Alternate JournalSante Ment Que
PubMed ID33270401