Individuals experiencing or who have experienced homelessness have a higher risk of health, mental health, and substance use disorders than the general population. In addition, they are more likely to be high utilizers of public services across multiple sectors and of having involvement with the criminal justice system. Housing for Health (HFH) is an initiative in Los Angeles County created in 2012 to provide permanent housing and supportive services to high-utilizers of County-funded health care services. HFH is built on the foundational principles of permanent supportive housing (PSH), but uses a centralized implementation approach to administer the provision of housing, intensive case management services, and a flexible housing subsidy pool.
At the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Dr. Kathryn Kietzman—who led the UCLA team that collected and analyzed qualitative data for the Los Angeles County study—presented the findings of their qualitative analysis on determining what characteristics distinguish HFH from other PSH programs and identifying barriers and facilitators to housing stabilization. Their data collection efforts included interviews with 14 key informants and 9 focus groups with 42 clients and 29 providers of PSH programs (including HFH and other programs).