Key Messages

  • Sustainability can be thought of as the continued operation of the intervention’s critical ingredients.
  • Sustainability outcomes for Housing First include obtaining continued funding for housing and support services, maintaining adherence to the Housing First model, sustaining stable housing and improved quality of life for participants, ensuring that Housing First continues to be a routine part of the housing/mental health practice in the community, sustaining community-level partnerships, and scaling up Housing First to serve a wider geographic area.
  • Contextual factors and processes that promote sustainability include organizational support and strategies for continued program operation.
  • Contextual factors and processes that promote sustainability include the characteristics of the organizational environment, the community environment, the “fit” among different community systems, and the political/policy context.
  • Programs may encounter sustainability challenges in the context of maintaining funding and resources, “program drift,” preserving the Housing First program model if the host agency or funding mechanism changes, and maintaining community support.
  • Sustainability strategies include developing a sustainability plan at an early stage, doing “fidelity assessments,” maintaining strong leadership, effectively managing risk, and by developing a knowledge translation strategy that communicates program successes to decision-makers, using evaluation results or qualitative “success stories” of program participants.

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