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    Los Angeles Housing Models and Neighborhoods’ Role in Supportive Housing Residents’ Social Integration

    National Library of Medicine

    Year: 2019

    Permanent supportive housing (PSH), which combines affordable permanent housing and supportive services, is known to be effective at ending homelessness and providing housing stability for individuals who have long been on the ‘institutional circuit,’ unstably housed, and socially marginalized or isolated (Tsemberis, Gulcur & Nakae, 2004). Social integration has been identified as a goal and an indicator of programmatic success in PSH (Wong & Soloman, 2002; Tsemberis, Gulcur, & Nakae, 2004), however research has consistently indicated supportive housing residents face a great deal of difficulty achieving successful social integration (Hawkins & Abrams, 2007; Padgett, Henwood, Abrams & Drake, 2008; Tsai, Mares & Rosenheck, 2012; Yanos, Barrow, & Tsemberis, 2004). Research that elucidates the correlates of social integration may aide providers in developing targeted efforts for this population, however such research has been limited. Studies that have examined social integration among supportive housing residents have largely focused on social participation (Yanos, Barrow, & Tsemberis, 2004; Tsai, Mares & Rosenheck, 2012; Dorvil et al., 2005) best described as an individual’s engagement in social interactions within normative contexts, resulting in a deficit of knowledge on residents’ social networks, including the extent to which an individual’s social network is of adequate size, contains a diversity of social roles, and reflects prosocial relationships (Wong & Soloman, 2002). In addition to this research gap the contextual factors that contribute to social integration remain largely unknown. For example, residents’ housing environments, made up of the buildings they live in and neighborhoods they are situated in, may impact residents’ social networks (Wong & Soloman, 2002), however to date no studies have examined whether varying models of permanent housing and neighborhoods differentially influence residents’ social network makeup. This study presents a distinctive opportunity to develop the understanding of the relationship between the housing environment and social integration, and will be the first to compare multiple PSH housing models (i.e., congregate, single-site, scatter-site) and multiple neighborhoods (i.e., Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles, Other) and determine their associations with supportive housing residents’ social network outcomes (i.e., size, diversity, social support, conflict).

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