SAMHSA’s Homelessness Resource Center Announces New Special Issue on the Future of Homeless Services

The Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) announces the release of a special issue of the Open Health Services and Policy Journal on “The Future of Homeless Services.” Guest edited by the HRC, the special issue describes the services and supports needed to help individuals and families exit homelessness and maintain housing. The electronic full-text of the articles in the special issue are available through free open access.

The Future of Homeless Services

Special Issue Published in the Open Health Services and Policy Journal

Guest Edited by the Homelessness Resource Center

SAMHSA’s Homelessness Resource Center is announcing the release of a special issue of the Open Health Services and Policy Journal on “The Future of Homeless Services.” Guest edited by the Homelessness Resource Center, the special issue describes the services and supports needed to help individuals and families exit homelessness and maintain housing.

All articles in the special issue are available for free via open access. Visit the Homelessness Resource Center website to access the electronic full-text of articles in the special issue.

To continue to improve the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services, SAMHSA has identified 10 Strategic Initiatives to focus the Agency’s work. As part of this effort, SAMHSA’s housing and homelessness initiative is designed to end and prevent homelessness by increasing the availability of sustainable supportive housing and other services linked to permanent housing for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless due to mental and/or substance use disorders.

Homelessness affects men, women, families, children, youth, and veterans. While outside factors like economic conditions or the scarcity of affordable housing may in some cases cause homelessness, certain vulnerabilities may determine who is at higher risk of becoming homeless. These include addictions, mental illness, domestic violence, medical conditions, traumatic stress, and lack of education or job skills.

To date, there is limited research documenting which services are most effective, the best models of delivery, and recommended intensity and duration. The aim of this special issue of the Open Health Services and Policy Journal on “The Future of Homeless Services” is to highlight services that may be most effective in helping individuals move out of homelessness and maintain a stable housing environment.

The special issue includes research and review articles on:

  • Approaches to primary, secondary, and tertiary homelessness prevention.
  • A synthesis of the evidence base for two best practices in the homelessness field: outreach and engagement and trauma-informed care.
  • A framework for understanding the multiple service needs of families experiencing homelessness.
  • How a recovery framework benefits consumers of homeless service programs.
  • Strategies for understanding the current state of the homeless services workforce and increasing its capacity.

Additionally, the special issue includes two commentary articles. Steven Gaetz, director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network and the Homeless Hub, offers a review of the current Canadian approach to homelessness. Martha Fleetwood, founder and executive director of HomeBase/the Center for Common Concern in San Francisco, California contributes her perspective on the U.S. response to homelessness over the past thirty years.

The Open Health Services and Policy Journal is a peer-reviewed Open Access online journal that publishes original research articles, reviews, and short articles in all areas of health services and health policy. The journal covers the research, organization, planning, evaluation, management, financing, policy, and provision of health services and healthcare.

Funded by SAMHSA, the Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) is dedicated to improving the daily lives of people who are homeless and who have mental illness, substance use problems, co-occurring disorders, or trauma histories. HRC is funded by SAMHSA’s Homeless Programs Branch, within the Center for Mental Health Services’ Division of Services and Systems Improvement. HRC’s work includes on-site and virtual training, technical assistance, knowledge products, and an interactive 2.0 website targeted to direct service providers.

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Table of Contents

Editorial: The Struggle to End Homelessness in Canada: How we Created the Crisis, and How We Can End it

pp.21-26 (6) Author: Stephen Gaetz

Homeless Services in the U.S.: Looking Back, Looking Forward: An Open Letter to Policymakers, Advocates, and Providers

pp.27-29 (3) Author: Martha Fleetwood

The Future of Homeless Services: An Introduction

pp.30-33 (4) Authors: Jeffrey Olivet, Kristen Paquette, Justine Hanson, Ellen Bassuk

A Framework for Developing Supports and Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness

pp.34-40 (7) Authors: Ellen L. Bassuk, Katherine T. Volk, Jeffrey Olivet

A Paradigm Shift in Housing and Homeless Services: Applying the Population and High-Risk Framework to Preventing Homelessness

pp.41-52 (12) Author: Jocelyn Apicello

Outreach and Engagement in Homeless Services: A Review of the Literature

pp.53-70 (18) Authors: Jeffrey Olivet, Ellen Bassuk, Emily Elstad, Rachael Kenney, Lauren Jassil

Recovery and Homeless Services: New Directions for the Field

pp.71-79 (9) Authors: Laura Gillis, Gloria Dickerson, Justine Hanson

Shelter from the Storm: Trauma-Informed Care in Homelessness Services Settings

pp.80-100 (21) Authors: Elizabeth K. Hopper, Ellen L. Bassuk, Jeffrey Olivet

Building the Capacity of the Homeless Service Workforce

pp.101-110 (10) Authors: Joan Mullen, Walter Leginski

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Open Health Services and Policy Journal
Rockville, MD, USA