Housing First is a housing and support services program that attempts to move the most disabled homeless people directly to housing prior to treatment, using housing as the transforming element to support participation in treatment. This approach does not require sobriety or participation in long-term treatment programs unlike the traditional continuum of care approach. Promising results have been demonstrated in a number of projects using this model (Tsemberis & Eisenberg, 2000).
For the past ten years, Father Bill’s Place (FBP), a homeless shelter and housing program in Quincy, Massachusetts, has moved steadily towards providing permanent housing with supportive services, rather than emergency shelter, as the preferred solution to ending homelessness. In May, 2005, FBP opened the doors to its first Housing First project providing 12 units to chronically homeless women. By May of 2007, FBP had a created a total of 52 Housing First units.
This evaluation report draws on a range of data sources, including qualitative in-person interviews and focus groups with Housing First residents and their case managers, as well as quantitative information on each Housing First resident. The sections to follow describe the characteristics of Housing First resident, document their experience in moving from long-term shelter life to their Housing First residences, and highlight the impact of Housing First on its residents as well as the larger community.
Meschede, Tatjana, "The First Two Years of Housing First in Quincy, Massachusetts: "This Place Gives Me Peace, Happiness, and Hope"" (2007). Center for Social Policy Publications. 11.