Lessons Learned from Housing First, Rapid Rehousing Trials with Youth Experiencing Homelessness


Youth, 18 to 24 years, experiencing homelessness (YEH) are recognized as having developmental challenges dissimilar to older adults. Yet, research on efforts to end homelessness and prevent or intervene in drug use and mental health problems among youth have lagged behind that of adults. The Housing First (HF) Model which underlies Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) has become preferred over treatment-first models.

Methods and Results

We provide an overview of PSH and RRH studies to date and summarize our current understanding of their utility for use with YEH. Finally, we review our team’s current and past randomized trials testing RRH with YEH, providing lessons learned and recommendations.


Current research efforts to guide best practices are hampered by a lack of fidelity to HF principles, lack of randomized design, and lack of focus on youth. Lessons learned and recommendations from our work are offered to facilitate the future work of those who seek to end homelessness and address drug use and mental health problems among youth.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Addiction Science & Clinical Practice