Street to home: The experiences of long-term unsheltered homeless individuals in an outreach and housing placement program

John J. Jost, Aaron J. Levitt, Leide Porcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


This article presents findings from in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with 20 long-term unsheltered homeless adults who had recently been placed into housing by Street to Home (S2H), a housing-focused outreach program in New York City. S2H places individuals directly into transitional and permanent housing, breaking from the prevailing linear treatment and housing models that require a demonstration of 'housing readiness' via sobriety and psychiatric stability prior to permanent housing placements. The major themes identified were: (1) negative perceptions of homeless services and service resistance; (2) readiness to leave the street; (3) believable housing options as triggers for change; (4) adapting to new surroundings and discovering benefits; and (5) the importance of knowing supports are in place. Fulfilling promises in the wake of past disappointments and providing an ongoing sense of support appear to be the key elements that have enabled the program to engage and maintain clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-263
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011



  • homelessness
  • housing
  • qualitative
  • research
  • street outreach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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