Evaluating the Impact of an Intervention

Determining the effectiveness of providing housing to individuals early in their recovery.

The Challenge

Individuals seeking substance use treatment are often homeless or have unstable living situations. This can be a considerable barrier to participating in treatment. One of Minnesota’s largest and longest running non-profit substance abuse and mental health treatment programs is implementing a housing first component to their program. The question they are asking is “Does providing housing early in recovery lead to better treatment outcomes?”

The Process

We partnered with this agency to develop an evaluation plan that will provide data to help answer their question and, ultimately, help them make decisions about whether to continue or expand the program. Our Center spent time at the agency, meeting with administrative and clinical staff to become more familiar with their procedures and clinical processes. From this, we developed an evaluation protocol and identified validated measures that are easy to complete and provide the data needed to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. As part of the University of Minnesota we must submit our research proposal to the Internal Review Board to help ensure the safety and confidentiality of our study participants.

The Result

This evaluation project is currently underway. Our findings and summary report will help the agency determine how to best utilize their resources to continue building its legacy of effective, responsive and innovative care.