Poor health both contributes to homelessness and is exacerbated by prolonged periods of housing instability. Homelessness limits access to appropriate care, worsens pre-existing conditions, and adds new health challenges, causing many high-need homeless individuals to cycle between shelters, emergency rooms, hospitals, jails, and other institutions. Alternatively, supportive housing – affordable housing coupled with supportive services – is proven to help vulnerable people stay housed, improve their health, and stabilize their lives. While there is a robust body of literature that points to supportive housing’s efficacy, especially related to promoting housing stability, enhanced supportive housing models - linking supportive housing and community health providers - show even stronger outcomes, particularly around improving tenants’ health status and dramatically reducing their costly use of crisis and inpatient services. To address the specific challenges faced by chronically homeless and medically vulnerable individuals and families, FQHCs, hospitals, behavioral health providers, other health providers and health plans, are increasingly collaborating and forming new partnerships to more effectively coordinate client-centered, integrated healthcare in an effort to improve outcomes and reduce costs for supportive housing tenants.
With evidence of the effectiveness of the early health and housing coordination models, PCDC and CSH, collaborated to identify ways our resources and expertise can facilitate partnerships between FQHCs and supportive housing providers. With the support of The Kresge Foundation, we conducted an assessment of the environment in several states to determine the need and demand for lending or other financial tools to promote and expand FQHC coordination with supportive housing developments. To help identify ways our organizations can assist the field, we convened industry experts to explore both the challenges and the key factors that can foster greater opportunities for integration across the sectors. This report summarizes our findings.