Change Happens proposes to implement the STAIRS 2.0 (Services to Aid in Retaining Shelter 2.0) program to provide services to individuals 18 years of age and older living in Houston/Harris County, Texas who are experiencing homelessness, substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (COD). The most recent statistics indicate that more than 6,300 people are without a home on any given night in Harris County. While Harris County has seen a decrease in homelessness since 2011, still over 4,609 homeless individuals are considered homeless. STAIRS 2.0 will consist of the following activities: 1) outreach and other engagement strategies to increase participation in, and access to, treatment for the population of focus (outreach activities as described above); 2) case management to link with and retain clients to treatment, permanent housing, and other necessary services, and to coordinate these services with other services provided to the client; 3) to engage, enroll, and/or connect the target population to enrollment resources for Medicaid and other benefits programs; and 4) to provide “wrap-around” services designed to improve access and retention in services. On an annual basis, 75 homeless individuals will receive the services outlined in the application. Over the entire five-year project, 375 homeless individuals will benefit from services using grant funds.
Program Objectives include:
• Eighty-five percent of all persons referred to medical or behavioral healthcare will be retained in care at six-month follow-up or until exit.
• One hundred percent of persons identified as homeless will be placed in permanent housing.
• Eighty-five percent of individuals placed in permanent housing will retain housing at six-month follow-up.
• Ninety percent of persons who receive evidence-based intervention will increase awareness of the risk of harm from substance misuse.
• Ninety percent of program participants enrolled in the program will utilize support services as appropriate.
• Seventy-five percent of persons enrolled in the program will report no use of alcohol or other drugs at six-month follow-up.
• Seventy-five percent of persons enrolled in the program and able to work will gain employment.
• Ninety percent of persons who receive evidence-based intervention will exhibit a higher level of functioning and social connectedness from baseline to follow-up assessment.
• Seventy-five percent of persons enrolled in the program will report no involvement with the criminal justice system at six-month follow-up.
• Increase capacity of culturally competent providers in addressing homelessness, SUDs, and CODs.
Evidenced-based programs used in the project include: Motivational Interviewing (MI) – an effective client-centered counseling method that helps clients explore and resolve their ambivalence about behavior change; and Intensive Case Management – an intensive service that involves building a trusting relationship with the client and providing ongoing support to help her function in the least restrictive environment and achieve an improved quality of life. To assess the effectiveness of the STAIRS 2.0 Program, a comprehensive evaluation plan overseen by a contract evaluator will be implemented. Evaluation data will be collected via record abstraction, GPRA measures, interviews and self-administered instruments at admission, six months post admission and discharge. Change Happens is requesting $400,000 to implement the program.