Pathways Housing First provides access to housing, support, and treatment services to clients having the most complex needs—persons who have been homeless for at least 5 years and have both a psychiatric disability and substance dependency. In a 2-year Housing and Urban Development-funded demonstration project in Washington, DC, in 2007 and 2008, we observed promising outcomes in housing retention and reductions in psychiatric symptoms, alcohol use, and demand for intensive support services. The program is designed to be fiscally self-sustaining through extant public disability benefits for housing, treatment, and support services. This approach shows strong support for first providing a permanently supported housing solution for chronically homeless and severely disabled individuals in need of housing and treatment of co-occurring disorders.
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