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Planning the Housing Opportunity and Services Together Demonstration: Challenges and Lessons Learned

NCJ Number
Susan J. Popkin; Molly M. Scott; Joe Parilla; Elsa Falkenburger; Marla McDaniel; Shinwon Kyung
Date Published
February 2012
8 pages
This brief provides an overview of the early challenges and successes of the multisite Housing Opportunity and Services Together (HOST) demonstration, which is an effort to test strategies that use housing as a platform for services that can improve the life chances of vulnerable children, youth, and adults.
Launched in December 2010 with the support of the Open Society Foundations' Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation, the multisite HOST demonstration tests an innovative, two-generation service model for improving the life chances of vulnerable low-income families living in public and mixed-income housing communities. The core effort is to address parents' key barriers to self-sufficiency, such as poor physical and mental health, addictions, low literacy levels, lack of a high-school diploma, and historically weak connection to the labor force. Simultaneously, services and supports for children and youth are provided. During its 2-year implementation, the HOST demonstration will identify strategies and services that help the families at greatest risk and offer the best potential for strengthening the community. This brief provides an overview of HOST partners and program models and identifies key steps in building a collaborative effort. The process of designing the HOST demonstration and planning its evaluation are also discussed. The service component of the HOST demonstration was launched in November 2011. As HOST develops, the research team will assess the lessons learned, challenges, and successes and disseminate these findings in an interim report in 2012. Communication with stakeholders and other interested parties will be an ongoing effort, ensuring that HOST informs their work and policies. 1 table, 1 figure, and 7 references