The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration

The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration was an innovative initiative designed to meet the challenges of serving the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) "hard to house" residents. It involved a unique partnership of city agencies, service providers, researchers, and private foundations. The rigorous evaluation allowed for continuous learning and mid-course corrections, and helped the team develop a validated model that other housing authorities can use. The Demonstration targeted approximately 475 households from the CHA’s Dearborn Homes and Madden/Wells developments with intensive case-management services, transitional jobs, financial literacy training, and relocation counseling. The Urban Institute evaluated the Chicago Family Case Management demonstration to inform implementation and track outcomes for participants over time. The outcomes of the Demonstration were encouraging—participants moved to better quality housing in safer neighborhoods, experienced improvements in employment and stabilized health—and the additional costs for services were reasonable.

The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration:Developing a New Model for Serving "Hard to House" Public Housing Families

Susan J. Popkin, Brett Theodos, Caterina Gouvis Roman, and Elizabeth Guernsey

The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration is an innovative initiative designed to meet the challenges of serving the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) hard to house; residents. It involves a unique partnership of city agencies, service providers, researchers, and private foundations, all with a deep commitment to finding solutions for the most vulnerable families affected by the CHA's Plan for Transformation. The rigorous evaluation allows for continuous learning and mid-course corrections, and helped the team develop a validated model that other housing authorities can use. This report highlights the lessons learned during the first year implementation of the Demonstration.

Inclusive Public Housing: Services for the Hard to House

Brett Theodos, Susan J. Popkin, Elizabeth Guernsey, and Liza Getsinger

While HOPE VI has changed the face of public housing, it has not been a solution for the most vulnerable families. The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration, an innovative model for serving these residents, provides them with intensive family case management, along with relocation, employment, financial literacy, mental health and substance use supports. This report focuses on one of the major challenges to serving vulnerable families: identifying which clients require the full intensive services. We develop a typology that provides a template for delivering wraparound services to public and assisted housing settings, including vouchers and units integrated into mixed-income developments.

An Examination of the Social and Physical Environment of Public Housing Residents in Two Chicago Developments in Transition

Caterina Gouvis Roman and Carly Knight

This report was designed to shine a spotlight on the immediate physical and social environment of residents who were living in two distressed public housing developments in 2007. While past research has similarly described the high incidence of depression and the high levels of disorder and violence within older, urban public housing developments, this report was intended to bring those factors together to uncover the pathways that influence mental health. We find evidence that suggests that physical and social disorder create cues that take a toll on residents through negative feelings about neighborhood cohesion and the neighborhood's ability to come together in a time of need. In addition, we find that economic stressors, which include threats of eviction, not being able to pay bills, or buy food for oneself, is associated with depression.