The integration of Housing-first system coordination within Choices for Youth
Pollett, Sheldon Ross
This action research engagement (ARE) study focused on the core question: “How can Choices for Youth (CFY) integrate the new federal standard of evidenced-based practice for housing-first system coordination within its housing programs?” In conducting the study, twelve youth involved in CFY’s housing and support programs participated in a youth modified photovoice (MP) session and six program staff participated in a staff MP session. Four clinical coordinators participated in individual interviews. The findings demonstrated that youth at CFY experience complex and concurrent personal challenges, that these experiences form a profile which is consistent with those for which housing-first system coordination was designed, and that CFY lacks a formalized system of coordination for its housing programs. The study recommendations include CFY adopting housing-first system coordination, reviewing current structures and programming for potential realignment of resources, establishing a dedicated coordinated access team (with both inward and outward facing roles), and the adoption of a set of common acuity assessment tools.