Housing First: Ending Homelessness, Transforming Systems, and Changing Lives

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Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.7 X 9.7 X 0.8 inches | 1.35 pounds
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About the Author

Deborah Padgett is internationally recognized as a qualitative methodologist known for her research on homelessness, including two federally-funded studies of Housing First. The author/co-author of five books and numerous journal articles, Dr. Padgett has received awards for her teaching and mentoring and led the Society for Social Work and Research as President.

Benjamin Henwood, PhD, MSW, is a recognized expert in mental health and housing services research whose work connects clinical interventions with social policy. His proposal to end homelessness has been adopted by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare as a grand challenge to orient the profession. Dr. Henwood is currently an assistant professor of social work at the University of Southern California.

Sam Tsemberis, PhD, is the originator of Housing First. The breakthrough that led to the creation of this consumer-directed program came after making the shift to listening rather than directing consumers, believing in their capabilities, and enlisting their assistance in designing the program. Dr. Tsemberis is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center and conducts research, lectures, and writes about these topics.


"There is an important story to be told about the Pathways Housing First program in New York City. This extremely influential program provides lessons about systems change related to services for homeless people with serious mental illness. Particularly interesting is the uptake of Housing First across North America, Europe, and Australia. This engaging book is a 'must read' for those interested in how Housing First can transform housing and treatment services for people with mental illness."
--Geoffrey Nelson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

"Theory, evidence, and experience ground this compelling story of how Housing First has transformed services for persons who are homeless across many countries and contexts."
--Paula Goering, PhD, RN, University of Toronto

"This book is an excellent account of the historic breakthrough of the Housing First approach all over the [developed] world. It explains not only how, but also why Housing First has proven to be the adequate and most effective approach to end homelessness for people with complex support needs. The homes created by Housing First programs offer "ontological security" to the formerly homeless tenants, a term which has been fruitfully used by Deborah Padgett to mark the essential advantages of the Housing First approach. From the beginning the basis for constancy, daily routines, privacy and identity construction is provided, a stable platform for a less stigmatized and more normalized life." --Prof. Dr. Volker Busch-Geertsema, senior research fellow of GISS-institute, Bremen, Germany and coordinator of the European Observatory on Homelessness

"This book provides a broad history and framing of homelessness in the United States in which the housing first idea was developed. This was especially helpful for me as I was late into the homeless arena with very little understanding of homelessness, homeless research, Federal funding for homeless programs, and various organizational approaches. Even though I had gained some understanding of homelessness the last ten years, this book pulled together a clearer picture of homelessness and the expansion of the housing first approach nationally and internationally." --Lloyd S. Pendleton, Former Director, Homeless Task Force, State of Utah

"It is not often that social policy begets a compelling success story. But in this book, Padgett and her coauthors tell how the Housing First movement to end homelessness arose from the striking confluence in the voices of disadvantaged people seeking dignified housing choice, a human rights perspective among service providers, and research-based evidence. That combination of forces has driven an international effort to reshape the social response to homelessness, with resounding successes. The story told here sets out the challenge for homelessness efforts world-wide, and indeed the way social welfare policy should be shaped more broadly."
--Dennis P. Culhane, PhD, Dana and Andrew Stone Chair of Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania