One of life’s basic needs, like food and water, is shelter. The provision of housing and associated services extends across virtually all of social work’s various arenas of endeavor, from providing foster care to neglected or abused children, to finding homes for persons leaving treatment facilities, to helping refugees find their “place” in a new country, to addressing homelessness itself. Social Work Research related to housing reflects the wide array of interest in the field in finding the best way to meet housing needs while helping client build a new sense of belonging, pride of ownership, and sense of self-sufficiency.

Perhaps nowhere else are both the micro and macro social work approaches to meeting human needs by addressing both people and their environment better displayed than in the housing services field.  Housing–or lack thereof–reflects the individual’s economic environment, and quality housing reflects the level of a community’s development. The provision of special needs housing is a further reflection of society’s meeting the needs of its most vulnerable residents.

A review of recent published research studies offers perspective on how housing fits into the panoply of social services and human capitol development that characterize social work’s approach to clients’ needs.  These studies focus on:

  • Housing policy – federal, state, and local resources and protections to assure fair housing (equal and legal) rental and sales practices as well as access to affordable housing.
  • Supported housing – the provision of social services, income support, and home-care education to vulnerable populations such as those with physical or mental disabilities.
  • Transitional housing – the provision of shelter and care during various transitions from less independent living to living on one’s own (e.g. the young adult moving from foster care to an apartment, or moving from a homeless shelter to a group home, or moving from a correctional facility into community living).
  • Treatment housing – group or clustered housing for people with similar needs, such as assisted living, hospice, or people who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, or share a particular diagnostic illness for whom treatment is combined with the provision of a place to live, such as homeless HIV/AIDS substance abusers.
  • Post-disaster housing – The provision of temporary shelter and services to residents of an area affected by a natural or man-made disaster, until their permanent residence can be restored or replaced.

Below are links to resources about housing and housing services provision, as well as centers focusing on housing research and entities supporting research studies.  The list is by no means exhaustive, but many of these sites provide links to give a fuller picture of this practice and research field.  Following the resource listings are abstracts of articles reporting on research studies related to housing policy and housing-related social services selected mostly from Social Work Abstracts™.


National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification (NRCSHHM) is headquartered at the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at University of Southern California, funded by The Archstone Foundation and The California Endowment. The Center’s mission is to make supportive housing and home modification a more integral component of successful aging, long-term care, preventive health, and the development of elder-friendly communities.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
This federal department is responsible for resourcing public and private partnerships to assure homes for all citizens.

http://wwwz.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/housing2.html Housing Research Resources is a selective bibliographic research guide to the UC Berkeley library and Internet social housing literature, both American and international. Included are basic research tools, historical sources, and strategies for finding needed materials.

www.csh.org The Corporation for Supportive Housing publishes reports, studies, and manuals aimed at helping nonprofits and government develop new and better ways to meet the health, housing, and employment needs of those at the fringes of society.

http://www.indiana.edu/~ocmhp/031105/text/travis.shtml The Indiana Housing Finance Authority (IHFA) awarded Indiana University social work faculty members funding to create and conduct a study addressing housing issues facing homosexual men and transgendered individuals living with HIV in Northwest Indiana.

Research articles:

These abstracts report on research conducted by social workers, or about social work services, or are published in social work peer-reviewed journals. They are recent selected articles arranged according to categories noted in the headings. However, several might well be included in more than one category.

Housing policy

Assets of the Chinese urban poor and their implications for social policy.
AU:  Shengli-C
SO:  Social-Development-Issues. 27(3): 74-84, Fall 2005.
This article is based on a large-scale survey of the assets, income, and housing of the urban poor in the city of Jinan, Shandong Province. The survey shows that although the Minimum Standard of Living (MSL) for urban dwellers has played an important role in securing people’s basic needs, many poor families still have difficulty making ends meet, most poor families own few assets other than housing, and there are large differences in asset ownership and housing among the urban poor. The following recommendations are offered to help the poor meet their basic needs and accumulate assets for poverty alleviation: MSL aid should be moderately increased, income should not be the only eligibility criterion for MSL aid, and a social welfare system based on asset building should be established to help the poor accumulate assets. (Journal abstract.)

Resident perceptions of housing, neighborhood, and economic conditions after relocation from public housing undergoing Hope VI redevelopment.
AU:  Brooks-F; Zugazaga-C; Wolk-J; Adams-M-A
SO:  Research-on-Social-Work-Practice. 15(6): 481-490, November 2005.
This study evaluates participant perception of neighborhood, economic, and housing well-being of residents four and five years after forced relocation from a public housing complex in Atlanta, Georgia. The study used a mixed -method, posttest-only design with two data points. Focus groups with 93 participants combined qualitative, open-ended questions with quantitative measures. Four years after relocation, residents living in homes/apartments found with Section 8 housing vouchers were faring better than residents who moved to other public housing projects. A majority of voucher users believed their house, neighborhood, and overall global living situation had improved since relocation. In the year between the first and second wave of focus groups, 40% of voucher users had moved to a new house/apartment. Moving was associated with residents perceiving that their situations had improved in many categories. Study findings suggested that HOPE VI developments are more likely to accomplish their objectives if the Bush Administration continues full funding of the voucher program rather than implements the cutbacks it has proposed. (Journal abstract, edited.)

An exploratory study of neighborhood choices among moving to opportunity
participants in Baltimore, Maryland: The influence of housing search assistance.
AU:  Bembry-J-X; Norris-D-F
SO:  Journal-of-Sociology-and-Social-Welfare. 32(4): 93-107, December 2005.
This study examined the neighborhood choices of 150 families who participated in the Moving to Opportunity Program (MTO) in Baltimore, Maryland. The MTO program, using an experimental design, provided intensive housing search and counseling services to the experimental subjects. This study found that the counseling services were instrumental in altering the subject’s cognitive maps, and they were more likely to move to neighborhoods that were more racially integrated and safer, and they had higher levels of satisfaction with their new neighborhood. The authors conclude that the MTO program in Baltimore represents a clear case of public policy that, at least in the short term, worked. (Journal abstract.)

Perception of HIV/AIDS risk among urban, low-income senior-housing residents.
AU:  Ward-E-G; Disch-W-B; Levy-J-A; Schensul-J-J
AIDS-Education-and-Prevention. 16(6): 571-588, December 2004.
Despite the rising number of cases of HIV in adults over age 50, older persons rarely are considered to be at risk for HIV/AIDS, and even though they may be involved in risky behavior, such as unprotected penetrative sex, they may not consider themselves vulnerable to becoming infected. Informed awareness of risk is essential to making positive decisions about adopting preventive measures. The authors examined demographic, sociobehavioral, and contextual factors that predict urban, low-income older adults’ perception of HIV/AIDS risk. Logistic regression results from 398 residents aged 50-93 living in six buildings in two American cities found that males, younger participants (aged 50-61), those living in higher risk buildings, and those who worried more about contracting HIV/AIDS were more likely to perceive themselves to be at HIV/AIDS risk. Findings accounted for 32% of the variance and the prediction success rate was 72%. Results point to the importance of considering sociodemographic characteristics and environmental (contextual) factors as they influence heuristic decision making in understanding HIV/AIDS risk perception among low-income urban older adults and when designing HIV/AIDS education and intervention strategies targeting this population. (Journal abstract.)

Finding and keeping affordable housing: Analyzing the experiences of single-mother families in north Philadelphia.
AU:  Clampet-Lundquist-S
Journal-of-Sociology-and-Social-Welfare. 30(4): 123-140, December 2003.
The location, availability, and quality of housing shapes one’s social networks, affects access to jobs, and impacts on social relations within the housing unit. However, access to affordable housing is limited for a significant portion of the population in the urban United States. In this study, the author interviewed 18 African American and Puerto Rican single mothers in two low-income neighborhoods of Philadelphia about how they create and maintain their housing arrangements. Within the constraints of an affordable housing shortage, women told how they struggle to share housing with others, rehabilitate abandoned properties, live in substandard housing, and remain in unsafe neighborhoods. Though their strategies allow them to currently retain housing, they are not without costs. These findings are discussed using the theoretical framework of social capital. (Journal abstract.)

Child welfare involvement among children in homeless families.
AU:  Park-J-M; Metraux-S; Brodbar-G; Culhane-D-P
An analysis of 8,251 homeless children in New York City found that 18% of them received child welfare services over the five-year period following their shelter admission, and an additional 6% had a history of having received such services before their first shelter admission. Recurrent use of public shelters, exposure to domestic violence, older age at first episode of homelessness, and larger number of children in a household were
associated with an increased risk of child welfare involvement. The high rate of crossover between homelessness and the child welfare system suggests the need for service coordination for children in homeless families. (This is one of seven articles in this special issue on housing and homelessness.) (Journal abstract.)

Privatized management in urban public housing: A comparative analysis of social service availability, utilization, and satisfaction.
AU:  Bowie-S-L
Social-Work. 49(4): 562-571, October 2004.
This article presents the results of a study that assessed the effect of privatized management on social service availability, utilization, and resident satisfaction in public housing communities. The respondents were heads of household who lived in public housing “projects” in Miami, Florida–more than 90% of whom were African American women. A quasi -experimental design with nonequivalent control groups compared respondent data from privately and publicly managed sites. Publicly managed sites reported more availability of social services, but privately managed sites reported higher levels of use. Implications for welfare reform, public housing demolition or renewal policies, the importance of social services with self-sufficiency efforts, and the need for culturally sensitive social work practices in ethnic minority public housing communities are discussed. (Journal abstract.)

Navigating the concrete jungle: African American children and adolescents in urban public housing developments.
AU:  Bowie-S-L
Journal-of-Human-Behavior-in-the-Social-Environment. 9(1/2): 101-128, 2004.
The multimethodological study examines behavioral and educational outcomes of children and adolescents who live in public housing in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The children (N = 46) were from 14 different families and ranged in age from 1-10 (60.8%), followed by 11-18 (30.4%). Almost 60% were males. The female heads of household were interviewed repeatedly from July 1997-March 2000. Results indicated high levels of parental stress. Adolescents (12-17 years of age) had substantially higher levels of negative school and behavioral outcomes, including those who became adolescents during the course of the research. Ethnographic analysis indicated that stressful life events and violence, child supervision issues, parent-child conflicts, and family health situations were key contributors to negative outcomes. Positive outcomes may be associated with child involvement in organized neighborhood activities. (Journal abstract.)

Termination of Supplemental Security Income benefits for drug addiction and alcoholism: Results of a longitudinal study of the effects on former beneficiaries.
AU:  Swartz-J-A; Baumohl-J; Lurigio-A-J
Social-Service-Review. 78(1): 96-124, March 2004.
This article reviews the results of a multisite cohort study on effects of terminating Supplemental Security Income benefits for drug addiction and alcoholism. Within 2 years of the program’s termination, 35-43% of participants requalified for disability benefits for another impairment. Regardless of requalification status, substance abuse treatment participation declined sharply and illegal drug use was prevalent. Although many of those who did not requalify lost income, medical benefits, and housing, these losses lessened over time and were not associated with increased psychological or medical problems or with declines in other aspects of participants’ lives. (Journal abstract.)

Public housing accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
AU:  Little-S-B
Journal-of-Health-and-Social-Policy. 16(1/2): 93-107, 2002.
The federal Housing Act of 1962 as amended and the subsequent laws of accommodations insure that all groups within American society, including those with disabilities, have access to housing opportunities. In spite of the clear provisions of various laws of accommodations enacted after 1962, it is questionable whether disabled individuals are adequately served by resident programs operated by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) because rates  of poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, and suicide are much higher among people with disabilities than in the nondisabled population. There
are approximately 5 million residents living in 2.5 public housing units nationwide. New York, Puerto Rico, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore have the five largest PHAs in the country. In combination, they rent 320,000 of the 1,300,495 inventory of rental properties owned by the country’s 3,400 PHAs. Elderly and disabled residents without children account for 43% of all public housing families in the country. (This is one of 16 articles in this special issue on disability and the black community.) (Journal abstract.)

Welfare to what? A policy agenda.
AU:  Perry-Burney-G-D; Jennings-A
Journal-of-Health-and-Social-Policy. 16(4): 85-99, 2003.
The Ohio Works First Program went into effect on October 1, 1997. In October 2000, the first round of individuals were terminated from receiving cash assistance due to passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers/hindrances to self-sufficiency among a selected sample of welfare consumers. Describing a portion of those who are in a self -sufficiency program in Northeast Ohio, the study indicates specific obstacles to self-sufficiency such as unemployment and underemployment, transportation, housing, child care, self-efficacy, and county sanctions. Recommendations for policy makers along with a policy agenda and recommendations for service agencies are included. (Journal abstract.)

Private choices, public consequences: Magnet school choice and segregation by race and poverty.
AU:  Saporito-S
Social-Problems. 50(2): 181-203, May 2003.
Little is known about the influence of school choice programs on race and economic segregation in public schools. Studies of housing segregation suggest that small differences in the preferences of particular race or socioeconomic groups have the potential to produce large-scale patterns of segregation. In this study, the author raises three questions regarding the link between individual choice and educational segregation: first, are the school choices of higher status families driven by a desire to avoid schools populated by students they consider to be of lower race or class status? Second, can other school features, such as safety, appearance, and educational quality explain apparent race- or class-based choices? Third, can families’ choices of schools be linked directly with segregation patterns independent of school district policies that may interfere with (or galvanize) the ability of people to exercise their choices? To answer these questions, the author analyzed magnet school application data from a large city to explore the choices of families for schools that vary in racial and economic composition. Findings showed that white families avoid schools with higher percentages of non-white students. The tendency of white families to avoid schools with higher percentages of non-whites cannot be accounted for by other school characteristics such as test scores, safety, or poverty rates. It was found that wealthier families avoid schools with higher poverty rates. The choices of white and wealthier students lead to increased racial and economic segregation in the neighborhood schools that these students leave. Moreover, the link between choice and segregation cannot be explained by school district policies. Findings suggested that laissez faire school choice policies, which allow the unfettered movement of children in and out of schools, may further deteriorate the educational conditions for disadvantaged students left behind in local public schools. (Journal abstract.)

Documenting the perspectives of fathers with children on welfare in the Post-Entitlement Era: The life experiences of 36 African American fathers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
AU:  Pate-D-J-Jr
DA:  Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD, August 2003.
This dissertation was based on two years of extensive face-to-face  semistructured interviews with 36 African American noncustodial fathers of children who received cash assistance from the state of Wisconsin. Discussed are the barriers and supports to managing their day-to-day lives. The primary research question was their knowledge of child support policy. A key finding was that almost all of the fathers were involved with their children, but to differing degrees. Of the 36 fathers, 25 had jobs at the time of the first interviews, but many of the jobs were unstable, irregular, or paid low wages. Housing instability and interaction with the criminal justice system most strongly affected fathers’ ability to maintain stable and continuous employment. Many of the fathers did not understand the basics of the child support system, however, they did have a better understanding of child support enforcement tools (e.g., incarceration and revocation of driving license). (Journal abstract.)

“Acting Living”: Transforming the organization of retirement and housing in the U.S.
AU:  Luken-P-C; Vaughan-S
Journal-of-Sociology-and-Social-Welfare. 30(1): 145-169, March 2003.
Examined is the transformation of the social institutions of retirement and housing in the US in the latter part of the 20th century. Using institutional ethnography, the authors explicate a woman’s experience relocating to an age segregated community. Her relocation is predicated upon ideological practices that reconceptualize retirement as “active living” and the construction of a setting in which retirees engage in this new lifestyle. This study demonstrates the textual mediation of this ideological and organizational reformation through an examination of an advertising campaign undertaken by the Del Webb Development Corporation in the marketing of Sun City, Arizona. The advertising texts provide an ideological code to manage and reorganize at multiple sites the social relations of one segment of the housing industry under late capitalism. (This is one of eight articles in this special issue on institutional ethnography.) (Journal abstract.)

Supported Housing

Adults with a learning disability living with elderly carers talk about planning for the future: Aspirations and concerns.
AU:  Bowey-L; McGlaughlin-A
The-British-Journal-of-Social-Work. 35(8): 1377-1392, December 2005.
The majority of adults with a learning disability live with family carers, many of whom are aging and have support needs of their own. Planning for the future becomes the key to preventing a crisis situation when family care is no longer viable because of death or ill health. Existing knowledge and practice are largely based upon the perspective of professionals and carers. This study explores the views, aspirations, and concerns of adults with a learning disability about living at home and planning for the future. Findings show that participants were very aware of the need for alternative housing or support in the future and had clear preferences about their future options. However, they also showed extensive concern for their family carers and this often impacted on their willingness to plan for the future or to move to alternative housing. Their demonstrable awareness of the inevitable death or ill health of family carers, and willingness to engage with the implications, emphasize the importance of involving adults with a learning disability in planning for their future, as well as providing them with bereavement support. (Journal abstract.)

Gender differences in social service needs of transgender people.
AU:  Kenagy-G-P; Hsieh-C
Journal-of-Social-Service-Research. 31(3): 1-21, 2005.
Transgender people are socially, economically, and demographically diverse. Previous studies, however, have not addressed the gender differences of transgender people with regard to their social service needs. Analyzing data from needs assessment surveys conducted in Philadelphia and Chicago, this study explored gender differences in social service needs of 184 transgender people. The results showed that four of the reported needs for social services (job training, legal services, housing, and welfare benefits) did not differ significantly between Male-to-Female (MTF) and Female-to-Male (FTM) respondents. Gender differences in the need for counseling could be accounted for by education and the city in which surveys were conducted. Significant gender differences were identified in the needs for parenting skills, family planning, and child care, however.   FTM respondents had significantly higher levels of need for these services than MTF respondents, and the significant gender differences remained even after controlling for age, race, education, city, income, living arrangement, unemployment status, and parenting status. (Journal abstract.)

Childhood out-of-home placement and dynamics of public shelter utilization among young homeless adults.
AU:  Park-J-M; Metraux-S; Culhane-D-P
Children-and-Youth-Services-Review. 27(5): 533-546, May 2005.
This study determined the prevalence of childhood experiences with child welfare supervision and placement among a cohort of 11,401 young sheltered homeless adults and assessed the associations between this prior involvement with child welfare services and the risk of experiencing recurrent and extended episodes of shelter use. This study used the administrative data from two New York City agencies: the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Homeless Services. Overall, 29% had a childhood child welfare history, and 21% (74% of those with childhood child welfare histories) had histories of out-of-home placement through the child welfare system. Childhood out-of-home placement was associated with an increased number of days spent in shelters among family shelter users and with an increased likelihood of experiencing repeated shelter stays during early adulthood in both the family shelter and single -adult shelter groups. These findings underscore the need for more extensive support and housing services during early adulthood for persons with childhood child welfare histories. (Journal abstract.)

Housing characteristics and adequacy of the physical care of children: An exploratory analysis.
AU:  Ernst-J-S; Meyer-M; DePanfilis-D
Child-Welfare. 83(5): 437-452, Sept/Oct 2004.
This study explored the relationship between housing conditions and the adequacy of the physical care of children. The sample included 106 caregivers who were participating in a neglect prevention demonstration project in a low-income, inner-city neighborhood. Children who lived with caregivers who had unsafe housing conditions were less likely to receive adequate physical care. Findings confirm the importance of addressing concrete housing conditions as part of an ecological approach to preventing child neglect. (This is one of seven articles in this special issue on housing and homelessness.) (Journal abstract.)

Housing problems experienced by recipients of child welfare services.
AU:  Courtney-M-E; McMurtry-S-L; Zinn-A
Child-Welfare. 83(5): 393-422, September/October 2004.
This study uses data on the experiences of families involved with child welfare services to examine the nature of housing problems and needs among these families and whether housing status affects case outcomes. First, the article describes the housing difficulties faced by two distinct child welfare service populations: families receiving voluntary in-home services and families with children in court-ordered out-of-home care. Second, the study demonstrates the relationship between housing problems and the likelihood of family reunification for children in out-of-home care. The findings have implications for the delivery of child welfare services and the provision of housing assistance to low-income families with children. (This is one of seven articles in this special issue on housing and homelessness.) (Journal abstract.)

Social networks and use of social supports of minority elders in East Harlem.
AU:  Cleak-H; Howe-J-L
Social-Work-in-Health-Care. 38(1): 19-38, 2003.
Considerable empirical research substantiates the importance of social networks on health and well-being in later life. A study of ethnic minority elders living in two low-income public housing buildings in East Harlem was undertaken to gain an understanding of the relationship between their health status and social networks. Findings demonstrate that elders with supportive housing had better psychological outcomes and used significantly more informal supports when in need. However, elders with serious health problems had poorer outcomes regardless of their level of social support. This study highlights the potential of supportive living environments to foster social integration and to optimize formal and informal networks. (Journal abstract.)

A national survey of assisted living facilities.
AU:  Hawes-C; Phillips-C-D; Rose-M; Holan-S; Sherman-M
The-Gerontologist. 43(6): 875-882, December 2003.
Throughout the 1990s, assisted living was the most rapidly growing form of senior housing. The purpose of this paper was to describe the supply of assisted living facilities (ALFs) and examine the extent to which they matched the philosophy of assisted living. The study involved a multistage sample design to produce nationally representative estimates for the ALF industry. Administrators of nearly 1,500 eligible ALFs were interviewed by telephone. As of 1998, there were an estimated 11,459 ALFs nationwide, with 611,300 beds and 521,500 residents. Nearly 60% offered a combination of low services and low or minimal privacy, whereas only 11% offered relatively high services and high privacy. Seventy-three percent of the resident rooms or apartments were private. Aging-in-place was limited by discharge policies in most ALFs for residents who needed help with transfers, had moderate to severe cognitive impairment, had any behavioral symptoms, or needed nursing care. The industry is largely private pay and unaffordable for low- or moderate-income persons aged 75 and older unless they use assets as well as income to pay. ALFs differed widely in ownership, size, policies, and the degree to which they manifested the philosophy of assisted living. This diversity represents a challenge for consumers in terms of selecting an appropriate facility and for policy makers in terms of deciding what role they want assisted living to play in long-term care. (Journal abstract.)

Senior housing: pathway to service utilization.
AU:  Rinehart-B-H
Journal-of-Gerontological-Social-Work. 39(3): 57-75, 2002.
Increasing numbers of older adults in our society have created a demand for a range of housing options. This study was conducted to better understand the relationship between the type of housing in which older adults lived and their utilization of formal services. A modified version of the Andersen-Newman model (1973) was used to organize the independent variables with type of housing listed as a separate category for the purposes of regression analysis. People living in senior housing (age segregated) were older, poorer, more functionally impaired, more likely to have Medicaid health insurance, and more likely to use formal in-home services than those seniors living in age integrated using. In both groups, level of need was the strongest predictor of formal service use. However, even with all the need, enabling, and predisposing variables controlled, housing type made an independent contribution in explaining patterns of service utilization. (Journal abstract.)

Bringing assisted living services into congregate housing: Residents’ perspectives.
AU:  Sheehan-N-W; Oakes-C-E
The-Gerontologist. 43(5): 766-770, October 2003.
Bringing state-subsidized assisted living services (ALS) into congregate housing (CH) is a strategy for reducing rates of nursing home placement. This article discusses CH residents’ reactions as a new ALS program was introduced in their housing, and it provides recommendations for others who are considering the implementation of similar programs. Focus groups and face-to-face interviews with residents in a CH facility explored their experiences over time with the new ALS program. Residents were interviewed before the program was initiated and 6 months later as a way to better understand their knowledge of and feelings about the program. A qualitative analysis of the interview data revealed several patterns of complex attitudes and emotions linked to the program. Although the overwhelming majority of residents endorsed the program as a way to avoid nursing home placement, few understood the features of the program (e.g., cost and eligibility requirements). ALS participants’ accounts of services suggested the presence of a highly “medicalized” approach. When new community-based models are implemented for elders, policy makers need to evaluate how these programs affect quality of life. Further, program guidelines for bringing ALS into existing housing have to address how the program complements the home-like nature of the housing. (Journal abstract.)

Predictors of psychological well-being among assisted-living residents.
AU:  Cummings-S-M
Health-and-Social-Work. 27(4): 293-302, November 2002.
Assisted-living facilities are a rapidly growing source of supportive housing for frail elderly people. This study examined the psychological well-being of elderly assisted-living residents and factors associated with well-being. Participants were nondemented elderly residents of an assisted-living community in the urban Southeast. Depression, life satisfaction, and demographic, health, and social support variables were measured through face-to-face interviews. A sizeable minority of the residents reported high levels of depressive symptoms and low life satisfaction. Female gender, self-reported health, functional impairment, perceived social support, and participation in activities were significantly associated with well-being. The predictive value of gender and health variables were reduced when social support was introduced. Implications for policy and social work practice are discussed. (Journal abstract.)

Access to services and maintenance of safer sex practices among people living with HIV/AIDS.
AU:  Reilly-T; Woo-G
Social-Work-in-Health-Care. 36(3): 81-95, 2003.
Access to services and their relationship to the maintenance of long-term safer sex practices are addressed in this study of 360 HIV+ adults recruited from outpatient medical facilities. Protease inhibitors, antiviral therapies, and entitlements were reported as the most needed services, while entitlements and money to pay for housing were reported as the largest unmet needs. Differences across ethnic and gender groups were observed. One-third of all respondents reported at least one occasion of unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse in the previous six months. The practice of unsafe sex was found to be significantly related to both the number of needed services and the number of unmet needs, even after controlling for demographic variables. in addition, a higher proportion of those who engaged in unsafe sex reported a higher need for psychological counseling and social support. These findings underscore the important linkage between access to services with avoidance of high-risk sexual behavior in HIV+ persons. Implications for the delivery of culturally appropriate, gender-specific and community-based interventions are discussed. (Journal abstract.)

Transitional Housing

A multi-outcome evaluation of an independent living program.
AU:  Georgiades-S
Child-and-Adolescent-Social-Work-Journal. 22(5-6): 417-439, December 2005.
This study evaluated an Independent Living (IL) program targeting foster youths in Florida. The IL group composed of 49 young adults and the comparison group of 18 young adults were used. Data were collected via a mailed survey and case record reviews. Results suggested that IL program participation is associated with better educational, employment, income, housing, early parenting-prevention, transportation, anger control, criminal-prevention, and self-evaluation outcomes. However, IL participation is not associated with better social support, perceived parenting competence, substance abuse-prevention, sexual risk-prevention outcomes, increased knowledge in money management skills, job seeking and job maintenance skills, interpersonal skills, or lower depression. Implications are discussed for program design and future research. (Journal abstract.)

Homelessness and drug abuse among young men who have sex with men in New York city: A preliminary trajectory.
AU:  Clatts-M-C; Goldsamt-L; Yi-H; Gwadz-M-V
Journal-of-Adolescence. 28(2): 201-214, April 2005.
The objective of this paper was to profile the role of homelessness in drug and sexual risk in a population of young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Data are from a cross-sectional survey collected between 2000 and 2001 in New York City (N = 569). With the goal of examining the import of homelessness in increased risk for the onset of drug and sexual risk, the authors compare and contrast three subgroups: (1) YMSM with no history of homelessness, (2) YMSM with a past history of homelessness but who were not homeless at the time of the interview, and (3) YMSM who were currently homeless. For each group, the study describes the prevalence of a broad range of stressful life events (including foster care and runaway episodes, involvement in the criminal justice system, etc.), as well as selected mental health problems (including past suicide attempts, current depression, and selected help-seeking variables). Additionally, the prevalence of selected drug and sexual risk is examined, including exposure to a broad range of illegal substances, current use of illegal drugs, and prevalence of lifetime exposure to sex work. Finally, the study concludes with an event history analysis approach (time-event displays and paired t-test analysis) to examine the timing of negative life experiences and homelessness relative to the onset of drug and sexual risk. High levels of background negative life experiences and manifest mental health distress are seen in all three groups. Both a prior experience of homelessness and currently being homeless are both strongly associated with both higher levels of lifetime exposure to drug and sexual risk as well as higher levels of current drug and sexual risk. Onset of these risks occur earlier in both groups that have had an experience of housing instability (e.g., runaway, foster care, etc.) but are delayed or not present among YMSM with no history of housing instability. Few YMSM had used drugs prior to becoming homeless. While causal inferences are subject to the limitations of a cross-sectional design, the findings pose an empirical challenge to the prevailing assumption that prior drug use is a dominant causal factor in YMSM becoming homeless. More broadly, the data illustrate the complexity of factors that must be accounted for, both in advancing our epidemiological understanding of the complexity of homelessness and its relationship to the onset of drug and sexual risk among high risk youth populations. (This is one of nine articles in this special issue on homeless and runaway youth.) (Journal abstract.)

Reaching the hard to reach: Innovative housing for homeless youth through strategic partnerships.
AU:  Van-Leeuwen-J
Child-Welfare. 83(5): 453-468, September/October 2004.
This article features three housing programs designed to target the needs of youth aging out of child welfare. One program combines housing and treatment to move substance-dependent youth off the streets; one combines the resources of Urban Peak, the only licensed homeless and runaway youth shelter in Colorado, with the Denver Department of Human Services to prevent youth in child welfare from discharging to the streets; and one addresses the intense mental health needs of this population. It costs Colorado $53,655 to place a young person in youth corrections for one year and $53,527 for residential treatment. It costs Urban Peak $5,378 to move a young person off of the streets. This article describes how policy implications and relationships with the public and private sector can leverage additional resources. (This is one of seven articles in this special issue on housing and homelessness.) (Journal abstract.)

Home away from home: Is it time to move? Sharing your home with your parent; senior apartments, group homes, assisted living, and other options.
AU:  Morris-V
BK Chapter:  In Morris-V, How to care for aging parents (pp. 402-425). New York: Workman Publishing (2004). (2004)
When your parents can no longer stay in their own home, it’s a major turning point for everyone involved. Planning ahead and becoming familiar with options such as shared housing, assisted-living, and nursing homes will help both you and your parents navigate this difficult terrain and make the best choice.

Transitional supportive housing programs: Battered women’s perspectives and recommendations.
AU:  Melbin-A; Sullivan-C-M; Cain-D
AFFILIA-Journal-of-Women-and-Social-Work. 18(4): 445-460, Winter 2003.
Finding safe, affordable housing is one of the greatest obstacles that women who leave abusive partners face. In response, advocates for battered women have begun to offer transitional supportive housing (TSH) programs. This article reports on interviews with 55 key stakeholders of these programs (direct service staff, current participants, former participants, and shelter residents) to examine the degree to which TSH programs fulfill the needs of the women who use them. Consistent with other research on empowerment-based services, the study found that the women were most satisfied when services were provided in a respectful and individualized manner. The women’s recommendations included the implementation of safety protocols and the need for a variety of support services that should be offered but not mandated. (Journal abstract.)

Prevalence of child welfare services involvement among homeless and low-income mothers: A five-year birth cohort study.
AU:  Culhane-J-F; Webb-D; Grim-S; Metraux-S; Culhane-D
Journal-of-Sociology-and-Social-Welfare. 30(3): 79-95, September 2003.
This paper investigates the five-year prevalence of child welfare services involvement and foster care placement among a population-based cohort of births in a large US city, by housing status of the mothers (mothers who have been homeless at least once, other low-income neighborhood residents, and all others), and by number of children. Children of mothers with at least one homeless episode have the greatest rate of involvement with child welfare services (37%), followed by other low-income residents (9.2%), and all others (4.0 %). Involvement rates increase with number of children for all housing categories, with rates highest among women with four or more births (33%), particularly for those mothers who have been homeless at least once (54%). Among families involved with child welfare services, the rate of placement in foster care is highest for the index children of women with at least one episode of homelessness (62%), followed by other low-income mothers (39%), and all others (39%). Half of the birth cohort eventually involved with child welfare services was among the group of women who have ever used the shelter system, as were 60% of the cohort placed in foster care. Multivariate logistic regression analyses reveal that mothers with one or more homeless episodes and mothers living in low-income neighborhoods have significantly greater risk of child welfare service involvement (OR = 5.67 and OR = 1.51, respectively) and foster care placement (OR = 8.82 and OR = 1.59, respectively). The implications for further research, and for child welfare risk assessment and prevention are discussed. Specifically, the salience of housing instability/homelessness to risk of child welfare service involvement is highlighted. (Journal abstract.)

Hispanic and African American youth: Life after foster care emancipation.
AU:  Iglehart-A-P; Becerra-R-M
Journal-of-Ethnic-and-Cultural-Diversity-in-Social-Work. 11(1/2): 79-107,  2002.
This exploratory, qualitative study of 28 (10 Hispanic and 18 African American) former foster care youth attempts to capture the essence of their quest for self-sufficiency. While research on former foster care youth continues to highlight the problems confronting them after they are emancipated from care, the depth of their struggles is often lost in the aggregation of statistics. The numbers themselves often fail to capture the hardships, isolation, hope, and despair many of them may face as they attempt to adjust to life after foster care. Furthermore, existing research often regards emancipated youth as a homogeneous population. Interviews with these respondents of color were coded to determine the themes and stories they held. The themes emergent from these interviews were: the importance of people in the independent living programs; vagueness in recalling the content of the independent living programs; family conflict; housing instability; regrets, fears, and lessons learned; and future goals. Implications for culturally sensitive practice and research are drawn from these data. (This is one of five articles in this special issue on social work with multicultural youth.) (Journal abstract.)

Treatment Housing

Housing first services for people who are homeless with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse.
AU:  Padgett-D-K; Gulcur-L; Tsemberis-S
Research-on-Social-Work-Practice. 16(1): 74-83, January 2006.
The literature on homeless adults with severe mental illness is generally silent on a critical issue surrounding service delivery–the contrast between housing first and treatment first program philosophies. This study draws on data from a longitudinal experiment contrasting a housing first program (which offers immediate permanent housing without requiring treatment compliance or abstinence) and treatment first (standard care) programs for 225 adults who were homeless with mental illness in New York City. After 48 months, results showed no significant group differences in alcohol and drug use. Treatment first participants were significantly more likely to use treatment services. These findings, in combination with previous reports of much higher rates of housing stability in the housing first group, showed that “dual diagnosis” adults can remain stably housed without increasing their substance use. Thus, housing first programs favoring immediate housing and consumer choice deserve consideration as a viable alternative to standard care. (This is one of eight articles in this special issue on cost-benefit analyses in social work.) (Journal abstract.)

How many social workers are needed in primary care? A patient-based needs assessment example.
AU:  McGuire-J; Blue-Howells-J; Bikson-K
Health-and-Social-Work. 30(4): 305-313, November 2005.
This study measured levels of self-reported social need in a sample of 684 veterans seen in four primary care clinics of a large Veterans Affairs health care system, using the Social Needs Checklist, and calculated levels of social work staffing to meet these needs. Data were obtained on the presence and severity of 15 areas of social needs, housing status, patient requests for social work services, and current access to other providers for social services. Data were also obtained from primary care social workers who estimated the average time needed to provide basic social work services. Nearly two-thirds of the sample had problems related to finances and personal stress. Three in four patients reported multiple needs. One-third requested social work services. Social work staffing needed for highest acuity patients was estimated to be 61 percent higher than actual staffing available. The study presents a method of estimating staffing levels based on social needs reported by patients. (Journal abstract.)

What street people reported about service access and drug treatment.
AU:  Freund-P-D; Hawkins-D-W
Journal-of-Health-and-Social-Policy. 18(3): 87-93, 2004.
This study presents the perceptions of a sample of homeless people living on the streets in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Questions were asked that elicited their opinions about drug addiction, housing, and treatment needs. Two-thirds of the 225 persons interviewed in 2000 and 2001 reported that they were not eligible for treatment or housing. Forty-two percent of those who received treatment for substance use disorders reported that their treatment was ineffective because aftercare and residential supports were not available to them. The major findings of this study were that service eligibility requirements were a barrier to adequate care, and that more homeless persons would consider treatment if housing placement were part of the continuum of services. (Journal abstract.)

Enabling adults with learning disabilities to articulate their housing needs.
AU:  McGlaughlin-A; Gorfin-L; Saul-C
The-British-Journal-of-Social-Work. 34(5): 709-726, July 2004.
This study is about involving adults with learning disabilities in service planning by asking them to articulate their own needs in relation to housing. It also identifies some of the barriers to meeting the housing needs of this group. The views expressed indicate that ordinary housing with small numbers is the preference, and that appropriate support is highly valued. This suggests a need for housing of a supported living model or similar. The service users in this study were clearly able to verbalize their preferences as well as to think through potential options. However, there is also clear evidence that they feel powerless in making choices, with decisions being made on their behalf by professionals and carers. This demonstrates the need for a cultural shift whereby the voices of adults with learning disabilities are heard and acted upon. (Journal abstract.)

Tracking change in psychological distress among homeless adults: An examination of the effect of housing status.
AU:  Wong-Y–L-I
Health-and-Social-Work. 27(4): 262-273, November 2002.
Although research has documented the endemic nature of psychological distress among homeless people, little is known about the variation of and change in distress when psychiatric disabilities and housing status are considered. Using longitudinal data from a homeless sample, the author examined the pattern of distress across three groups–people with serious mental illness (SMI), people with drug or alcohol problems, and people with neither diagnosis. Distress symptoms were most pervasive and persistent among people with SMI. The effect of housing status on distress differed across the three groups and was statistically significant for people with no psychiatric diagnosis. (Journal abstract.)

Adults with Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease: Comparison of services received in group homes and in special care units.
AU:  Chaput-J-L
Journal-of-Gerontological-Social-Work. 38(1/2): 197-211, 2002.
An increasing number of people with Down syndrome are at risk of dementia resulting from Alzheimer’s disease. Many reside in community group homes. When they are affected by dementia, the challenge to agencies providing group homes is how to best provide continued housing and provide effective dementia-related care management. In the general population, long term care is typically provided in nursing facilities, often in special care units (SCUs). This study evaluated select factors found in group homes and SCUs to determine which is able to provide a better quality of life for people with Down syndrome affected by dementia. Interviews, using quality of life indicators were conducted at 20 sites, equally selected from group homes and SCUs, on the basis of their experience with people with dementia. Results indicate that group homes can provide conditions associated with better quality of life and, additionally, operate with lower staffing cost due to the non-utilization of medical staff. (Journal abstract.)

Post Disaster Housing

Lessons learned on forced relocation of older adults: The impact of Hurricane Andrew on health, mental health, and social support of public housing residents.
AU:  Sanders-S; Bowie-S-L; Bowie-Y-D
Journal-of-Gerontological-Social-Work. 40(4): 23-35, 2003.
This article is an exploratory-descriptive study of older adult public housing residents who were forcibly relocated from their homes when Hurricane Andrew struck Miami-Dade County in 1992. The subjects were all African Americans (N = 58) with a mean age of 67 years (S.D. = 9.8) who lived in economically depressed, low-income communities. Almost 70% were females. The subjects suffered from an array of physical and mental health maladies that were exacerbated when they were uprooted from key support systems, including families, social services, and health care facilities they depended on. A variety of complaints surfaced about their new living arrangements and almost 70% expressed a desire to return to their previous homes after long-term structural repairs were complete. Implications are discussed regarding the need for pre-emptive “elder-sensitive” strategic planning, the role of Public Housing Authorities in properly caring for older adults before and after a hurricane or other natural disaster, the need for appropriate training of public housing property managers, and the key role of social workers during post-disaster interventions with older adults and their families. (Journal abstract.)

August 10th, 2006 at 1:31 pm

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