"I Felt Safe": The Role of the Rapid Rehousing Program in Supporting the Security of Families Experiencing Homelessness in Salt Lake County, Utah.
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Homelessness is a public health issue that many organizations are addressing through a Housing First Model. One such organization is The Road Home (TRH), which provides services to homeless individuals and families in Salt Lake County. TRH is perhaps best known for their emergency shelters, but the organization also administers the Rapid Rehousing Program (RRHP), designed to help families experiencing homelessness transition back into stable housing. Those experiencing homelessness tend to have high rates of chronic mental/physical disabilities as well as issues related to substance abuse. Having a home is the first step toward achieving some kind of stability in their lives. The RRHP allows families to find housing in the private rental market and will cover the initial costs and several months of rent for clients. While the program has been praised by policymakers and social service providers for helping homeless families find rental housing, there is no empirical research about participant perspectives regarding their residential (in)security. The research question of this article is: what is the role of the RRHP in supporting the security of families experiencing homelessness? Researchers collected qualitative data through focus groups and interviews with 31 participants, 23 families experiencing homelessness, two landlords, six case managers, and service providers. Lastly, we identify recommendations for program improvements based on information gathered from research participants. It is our hope that the information presented in this article can and will be used in a way that improves public health by increasing the residential security of families experiencing homelessness.
Int J Environ Res Public Health
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García, Ivis||Kim, Keuntae