The characteristics of the 136 participants across the five sites show some similarities in that most were male (16 males, or 70%, in Pathways to Housing; ten males, or 53%, in REACH; 14 males, or 82%, in DESC; 28 males, or 60%, in Project Renewal; 18 males, or 60%, in The Bridge), most were 40 or older (N=101, 74%, ranging from 13 persons, or 57%, at Pathways to housing to 15 persons, or 88% at DESC), and most were in the program for six months or longer (data not gathered at Pathways to Housing; 12 persons, or 63%, at REACH; 16 persons, or 94%, at DESC; 41 persons, or 87%, at Project Renewal; and 29 persons, or 97%, at The Bridge) (χ2=12.56, df=3, p<.01). The major difference among sites is the race of participants from the programs (χ2=12.96, df=6, p<.01). Both REACH and DESC were similar in terms of the race of their participants (REACH: ten persons, or 53%, were white and four persons, or 21%, were black; DESC: nine persons, or 56%, were white and four persons, or 25%, were black). A higher proportion of participants from the two New York City sites were black (22 persons, or 49% at Project Renewal; 13 persons, or 43% at The Bridge). However, a higher proportion of participants at The Bridge were white, compared with the proportion of participants of Project Renewal (11 persons, or 37%, at The Bridge and eight persons, or 18%, at Project Renewal). Pathways to Housing did not report the race of participants. (Data for race were not available for all participants.)
Table 1 lists the specific questions participants were asked and shows the mean scores of respondents by program. An explicit requirement of mental health treatment adherence as a condition of obtaining housing was significantly more likely to be reported by supportive housing residents than housing-first residents. Housing-first residents were also more likely to report that substance abuse treatment was a condition of obtaining housing, although this finding was not significant (p=.059). Also, housing-first residents were significantly less likely than supportive housing residents to report a stated requirement of continued treatment adherence being made a condition of housing.
Table 1 also shows that housing-first residents were significantly less likely than supportive housing residents to perceive that their housing was contingent on adherence to mental health and substance abuse treatment. Housing-first residents were more likely than supportive housing residents to agree that they could stay in their current housing if they discontinued mental health services, although this finding was not significant (p=.051). There were no differences between the programs when residents were asked whether they could stay in their current housing if they broke program rules about substance use.
A 19-point scale (5) was used to ask participants about their satisfaction with their current housing, and no significant difference was found in housing satisfaction across the five programs.