urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

A New Model for Integrating Housing and Services

Brief 2

Read complete document: PDF


PrintPrint this page
Share:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Digg Share on Reddit
| Email this pageE-mail
Document date: December 01, 2010
Released online: December 01, 2010

Abstract

The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration provided vulnerable public housing residents from two Chicago Housing Authority developments with intensive case management services, transitional jobs, financial literacy training, and relocation counseling. The Demonstration was remarkably successful in implementing a wraparound service model. The lead service provider kept residents highly engaged even as they relocated with vouchers or to mixed-income housing. Participants perceived improvements in service quality and delivery, and providers felt more effective and engaged. The additional costs for the intensive services were modest, suggesting that it would be feasible to take a carefully targeted intensive service model to scale.

The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the entire brief in PDF format.


Introduction

But while the Plan for Transformation addressed the CHA’s bricks-and-mortar issues, its Service Connector program, which provided case management and referral services for residents, was less successful. Advocates and resident leaders criticized the Service Connector program for high caseloads and inadequate services. And while Service Connector and the CHA’s relocation services evolved over time, and caseloads were gradually reduced, even the improved services could not meet the deep needs of CHA’s most vulnerable residents, who had long relied on the CHA’s distressed developments as housing of last resort (Popkin 2006). These families faced numerous, complex barriers to their ability to move toward self-sufficiency or even sustain stable housing, including serious physical and mental health problems, weak (or nonexistent) employment histories and limited work skills, very low literacy levels, drug and alcohol abuse, family members’ criminal histories, and serious credit problems (Popkin, Cunningham, and Burt 2005; Popkin et al. 2000).

The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration was created to develop effective strategies for addressing the needs of these hard-to-house families. The Demonstration ran from March 2007 to March 2010, overlapping with the 2009 CHA Panel Study, which tracked a random sample of residents from CHA’s Madden/Wells Homes from 2001 to 2009 (Popkin, Levy, et al. 2010). The Demonstration—a partnership of the Urban Institute, the CHA, Heartland Human Care Services, and Housing Choice Partners— intended to test the feasibility of providing wraparound supportive services for vulnerable public housing families (Popkin et al. 2008). The program provided residents from the CHA’s Dearborn Homes and Madden/ Wells developments with intensive case management services, transitional jobs, financial literacy training, and relocation counseling (see text box on page 10).

The Urban Institute conducted a rigorous evaluation, including a baseline and followup survey, administrative interviews, focus groups with service providers and program administrators, in-depth resident interviews, and analysis of program and administrative data. The evaluation tracked participant outcomes and monitored the collaboration among the service partners. The design allowed for continuous learning and midcourse corrections during implementation.

The Demonstration was remarkably successful in implementing a wraparound service model for vulnerable public housing residents. The lead service provider was able to adapt the service model as residents relocated with vouchers or to mixed-income housing, while sustaining high levels of engagement. Further, participants perceived improvements in service quality and delivery, and providers felt more effective and engaged. The Demonstration also generally improved the quality of coordination and cooperation between service agencies and the CHA. However, the Demonstration was less successful in engaging participants in relocation counseling and, thus, facilitating opportunity moves. The additional costs for the intensive services were relatively modest, suggesting that it would be feasible to take a carefully targeted intensive service model to scale. In this brief, we discuss the implementation of the Demonstration and our analysis of service costs. The other briefs in the series (see Popkin, Theodos, et al. 2010) describe the outcomes for participants across a range of domains, including employment, health, housing and neighborhoods, and children and youth.

(End of excerpt. The entire brief is available in PDF format.)

This brief is part of the Supporting Vulnerable Public Housing Families: An Evaluation of the Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration series.



Topics/Tags: | Employment | Housing


Usage and reprints: Most publications may be downloaded free of charge from the web site and may be used and copies made for research, academic, policy or other non-commercial purposes. Proper attribution is required. Posting UI research papers on other websites is permitted subject to prior approval from the Urban Institute—contact publicaffairs@urban.org.

If you are unable to access or print the PDF document please contact us or call the Publications Office at (202) 261-5687.

Disclaimer: The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Copyright of the written materials contained within the Urban Institute website is owned or controlled by the Urban Institute.

Email this Page