Program Areas | Families and Communities

Corporation for Supportive Housing:
Evaluation of the Keeping Families Together Project

Keeping Families Together Project

Metis Associates evaluated the Keeping Families Together pilot of the Corporation for Supportive Housing and found that the program had had a very positive impact on participating families.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) is a national organization that helps end and prevent homelessness by developing housing together with social services. In 2007 the organization began the three-year Keeping Families Together project to address the complex needs of homeless families who are involved in the child-welfare system. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CSH set out to assess whether permanent supportive housing could reduce or prevent child neglect and abuse among chronically homeless families with a history of substance abuse or mental illness.

CSH collaborated with six supportive housing providers and five New York City government agencies to develop a model of supportive housing for families who were at high risk of separation from their children. Twenty-nine families moved into the apartments from 2007 to 2009. The vast majority of them were headed by mothers with histories of substance abuse, and more than half had been diagnosed with mental illness. Half of the families' minor children moved into the supportive housing with them. A mental health consultant from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine provided training and served as a resource to the families' case managers.

Metis Associates evaluated the Keeping Families Together pilot from September 2009 to May 2010. The evaluation included a retrospective assessment of implementation and an examination of the program's impact on families. The evaluation found that 26 of the 29 families remained in supportive housing at the end of the evaluation period; 61% of child-welfare cases that were open at the time of housing placement were closed; and six children who had been in foster care were reunified with their families. Moreover, the school-age children housed during the 2007–08 school year showed steady increases in school attendance over three years. To read a full report of this evaluation, click here.