The over twenty partners participating in the Chicago Housing for Health Partnership (CHHP) believe that moving homeless individuals with chronic illness off the streets and into an effective coordinated system of support is a vital step in stabilizing their health and in assisting them to become appropriately and permanently housed. The CHHP project was developed to operationalize this belief and to document and describe the successes and challenges of delivering the project’s interventions and achieving the project’s objectives.
The demonstration project of the Chicago Housing for Health Partnership was implemented as the result of a planning grant (December 2001 through June 2002) and pilot project (July 2002 through June 2003) funded by the Michael Reese Health Trust. These grants were made to Interfaith House, an interim home for homeless men and women who have been discharged from Chicago hospitals with an illness and/or injury. The administrative complexity of the project, as a result of involving multiple partners and multiple funders, lead project leadership to house the three year demonstration at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago which has the capacity and experience to manage large, multi-agency grants. The four year (July 2003 through June 2007) CHHP demonstration project is supported by federal grants as well as by several local funders; the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, Grant Healthcare Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, the Field Foundation, the Siragusa Foundation and the Michael Reese Health Trust.
For additional information about Chicago’s activities related to ending homelessness and “Housing First” strategies go to http://www.thechicagoalliance.org/. For additional information about housing and case management activities of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago go to http://www.aidschicago.org.
Combined MRHT Grants:
$885,000 from 2002-2008
Impact of CHHP:
- The CHHP research study is the first in the nation to establish and empirically evaluate whether providing stable housing and case management services to chronically medically ill homeless individuals improves their health and health service utilization, and saves net costs. The results of the study have been published in Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] and American Journal of Public Health [AJPH]. Summary sheets for both studies: http://www.aidschicago.org/pdf/2011/chhp_study_summary.pdf
[Citations to the studies are noted below]
- According to the conclusion of the May 6, 2009 article on CHHP in JAMA, “offering housing and case management to a population of homeless adults with chronic medical illness resulted in fewer hospital days and emergency department visits, compared with usual care.”
- The intervention group had a relative reduction of 29% in hospitalizations and a 24% reduction in emergency room visits compared the similar group that received usual care.
- The intervention is estimated to have reduced nursing home costs alone by over $500,000.
- 55% of HIV-positive individuals in the intervention group had a relatively healthy immune system, compared with 34% in the usual care group.
- 40% of HIV-positive individuals in the intervention group had undetectable levels of virus in their blood, compared to 21% in the usual care group.
- The median HIV viral load was 87% lower in the intervention group. A low viral load is evidence of effective treatment and reducing levels of HIV in the bloodstream.
- CHHP produced extremely valuable published data on the cost and health benefits of supportive housing and case management that continues to be used to advocate for more housing and case management resources for homeless individuals locally and nationally.
- According to AFC, CHHP data was used by the Obama Administration to shape its FY 2011 HUD Budget request to Congress that included 4,000 new subsidies for homeless persons living with a chronic medical illness.
- CHHP data and its collaborative process have resulted in a number of other similar supportive housing projects in Chicago that continue to provide housing for hundreds of the most vulnerable homeless individuals, such as the Samaritan Housing Program, the Chicago 100,000 Homes Campaign, the AFC Medicaid Supportive Housing Program and others.
Citations of Peer Reviewed Journal Articles related to the CHHP program grants:
Buchanan, D. (2009). The health impact of supportive housing for HIV-positive homeless patients: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Public Health, 99(Suppl 3), S675-S680.
Sadowski, L., Kee, R., VanderWeele, T., & Buchanan, D. (2009). Effect of a housing and case management program on emergency department visits and hospitalizations among chronically ill homeless adults: A randomized trial. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(17), 1771-1778.