Implementation Evaluation of a Housing First Program in a Small Canadian City

This paper describes the implementation of Housing First in a small Canadian city. Given that the majority of Housing First research has been conducted in large American cities, providing a Canadian context in a small city contributes significant insights for similarly sized areas. The main objectives were to determine the adaptations made to the Housing First model and the contextual realities that affected implementation. Data were collected from two sources: (a) a fidelity assessment by an external team of experts; and (b) key informant interviews and focus groups with program staff and consumers. Results demonstrate that Housing First can be successfully implemented in a small city but with certain constraints and adaptations, notably more limited consumer choice of housing, challenges related to consumer access to transportation, and adaptations to program staffing. Implications for practice are discussed.

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Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health