Currently there is a significant gap in knowledge about the long-term impact of youth-centric rapid re-housing programs on young people’s lives and the return on investment for communities. The long-term outcomes for rapid re-housing programs serving youth may be different than for those serving adults. For youth, more frequent moves, returns to family, or shifting roommate situations are age-appropriate choices. Evaluation research on rapid re-housing programs for youth would provide much needed information on the types of long-term outcomes that we might expect for this population.
The goals of this longitudinal study are to: (1) document the impact of the rapid re-housing program on young adults’ lives over the program period and one year afterwards, and identify the key factors that drive these outcomes; (2) demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the program; and (3) assess the transferability of the program to other communities and states in the US.
To achieve these goals, The Institute for Community Research / Youth Action Hub is evaluating The Connection, Inc.’s Start Program, a rapid re-housing model for young adults in CT in order to understand how the youth-centric rapid re-housing model impacts the following five areas of young people’s lives: 1) housing stability, 2) social support network, 3) emotional and physical health, 4) education/ employment status, and 5) earned income/financial stability. Utilizing a mixed-method (survey and in-depth interviews) cohort-sequential design with a comparison group, data will be collected at 6-month time intervals (baseline, 6 months, and 12 months) for one year from two different cohorts of program participants [at intake (n=59) and at discharge (n=80)] that are entering and exiting in monthly waves throughout the year, in addition to a group of youth who are on the program’s waiting list (n=90). Youth on the waiting list will be used as a comparison group to examine whether the development of outcomes differs between the groups with and without participation in the program. Using this design, the study will document the impact of the rapid re-housing program on young adults’ lives over the program period and one year afterwards in comparison to individuals who have not participated in the program, and will identify the key factors that drive these outcomes.