The New York City Frequent Users System Engagement program (FUSE) was part of the CSH's Returning Home Initiative, a multi-year effort of public, inter-agency collaboration and investment that provided supportive housing for people cycling between incarceration and homelessness. NYC FUSE targeted persons with recurring homelessness and incarceration, most of whom challenged also by health, mental health, and/or substance use issues.
Columbia University researchers evaluated FUSE by comparing program participants with a closely matched comparison group of “frequent users.” This evaluation found that supportive housing significantly reduced participants’ (re)admissions to and time spent in jail and homeless shelters and their use of crisis healthcare services. These reductions resulted in significantly lower costs for publicly supported services, offsetting housing and other program costs. Results have inspired jurisdictions throughout the US to launch similar efforts.
Now, 10 years later, the FUSE Long Term Study presents a unique opportunity to examine stable housing as a critical component of successful community reentry, not simply in the short term but over people’s lives.