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Strengthening the Social Integration of Housing First participants

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Presentation by Dorieke Wewerinke, Netherlands, at the 2013 FEANTSA Research Conference, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, 20th September 2013

Presentation by Dorieke Wewerinke, Netherlands, at the 2013 FEANTSA Research Conference, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, 20th September 2013


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  • 1. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Strengthening the Social Integration of Housing First Participants Dorieke Wewerinke and Judith Wolf Netherlands Centre for Social Care Research University Medical Centre St. Radboud Nijmegen
  • 2. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 ‘Pathways Housing First seeks to help clients integrate into their community as fully as possible’ Tsemberis (2010:53)
  • 3. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Focus on outcomes of social integration in research?
  • 4. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the US: Housing First versus Traditional Housing (Gulcur et al., 2007) Evaluating community integration among clients assigned randomly to HF services (experimental group) or ‘services as usual’ (control group)  Community integration includes psychological, physical and social domains, and is also influenced by independence / self-actualisation  Choice is a predictor of psychological integration  Independent scatter-site housing is a predictor of social integration  Influence of psychiatric hospitalisation, symptomatology and participation in substance use treatment
  • 5. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the US: Experiences of HF Clients (Yanos et al., 2004) Exploring the experience of community integration of formerly homeless people housed in independent dwellings (HF) and staffed residential settings  Moving into housing improves feeling of being part of the community  Challenges that can complicate the integration process:  Loneliness  Difficulties ‘fitting in’ in the community
  • 6. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the Netherlands: Evaluation of Discus HF Amsterdam (Maas et al., 2011) Focus on social networks and feelings of loneliness of HF clients  Not enough people that I feel close to – 48%  I lack a really good friend – 44%  I never visit friends or acquaintances – 29% Loneliness Discus Clients General Dutch Population Not lonely 25% 86% Average loneliness 47% 28% Very lonely 23% 3% Extremely lonely 5% 1%
  • 7. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 How can Housing First contribute to social integration?
  • 8. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the US: The Process of Integration (Wewerinke, 2010) Qualitative case study: impact HF on development of social networks  HF fulfils conditions that are necessary for development of supportive networks  Supportive services contribute to development of social networks:  Drop-in hours at office, group activities  Social skills training and practising social skills in the real world  Focus on physical appearance and behaviour  Assistance in reconnecting with family and friends  Work, education and hobbies  Support workers play a key role in the process of integration!
  • 9. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the US: The Process of Integration – Role of Support Workers (Wewerinke, 2010) Qualitative case study: impact of HF on development of social networks  Working relationship based on trust is essential  Providing practical and emotional support  Helping clients to regain trust in people  Practising social interactions in a safe environment  Connecting clients with social worlds around them
  • 10. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Research in the Netherlands: Focus on Social Integration in HF Programmes (Wewerinke & Wolf, 2013) Nationwide mapping study on HF  Main focus on daily activities: work, hobbies, education  Assistance in reconnecting with friends and families  Focus on image of clients: self-care and behaviour  Social media and dating sites  Drop-in hours at office and group activities are point of discussion  Facilitating integration remains a challenge for all programmes and should receive continuous attention!
  • 11. EUROPEAN RESEARCH CONFERENCE Housing First. What’s Second? Berlin, 20th September 2013 Thank you for your attention! Any questions? d.wewerinke@elg.umcn.nl j.wolf@elg.umcn.nl