HomePath is a combined Housing First and shared-medical-appointments intervention. It aims to increase housing stability, improve treatment outcomes, and reduce returns to shelters, emergency rooms, and justice systems for people who have experienced homelessness and are struggling with opioid addiction.
Housing First is a person-centered approach to reducing chronic homelessness that works by first providing permanent supportive housing, regardless of substance dependency or other issues. There are no treatment or sobriety conditions for being placed in or staying in housing. Once housed, people can decide whether and when to make use of the supportive services and treatment plans that are available to them.
Shared medical appointments combine medical treatment, behavioral health treatment, and social work help. Usually, a group of about 10 to 15 patients and three to five health care and social service providers meet weekly. Each patient has time to discuss his or her treatment and progress toward personal goals. Everyone in the group can ask questions and share concerns and experiences with each other. A shared medical appointment can address many needs at once. Patients can get prescription refills, information about transportation or other services, support for recovery, and connections to housing and supportive services that use a Housing First approach.
With funding from Arnold Ventures, MDRC is conducting an 18-month feasibility study to determine whether to conduct a full-scale rigorous evaluation of HomePath. If the feasibility study shows promise, the full-scale evaluation would begin in 2020.