What Makes a House a Home? An Evaluation of a Supported Housing Project for Individuals With Long-Term Psychiatric Backgrounds

Supported housing (as distinct from supportive housing) emphasizes the values of consumer choice; independence; participation; permanence; normalcy; and flexible, ongoing supports. As a model, it has only recently become popular in the literature and therefore little is known of its effectiveness in serving people with long-term psychiatric backgrounds. In 1989, Homeward Projects, a community mental health agency located in Metropolitan Toronto, established a supported housing project. Homeward included an evaluative component in its program from the outset. In order to give equal weight to the tenants' opinions, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were employed. In the quantitative component, residential milieu, social support, and service delivery were examined. The qualitative component involved an ethnographic study which allowed the tenants to voice their experiences of living in such a setting. Results provided a rich understanding of the model. Overall, the tenants eventually came to describe their house as a home. [abstract from PUBMED]

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Ottawa, ON, Canada