Day and Morris discussed appropriateness of EBPs for people who are homeless – especially those with mental health and/or substance use issues. Morris explained that the driving force is what is happening at the federal level that directs policy or homeless services or services to other vulnerable populations, specifically people with mental health and substance abuse conditions and other potentially disabling conditions.
Within SAMHSA, there is emphasis on data reporting and program evaluation. There are new requirements in terms of reporting out data – specifically, what is actually working to change the lives of those experiencing homelessness. And EBPs can help us effectively show how we are making a difference. The discussion was placed in the context of quality of care and the need for accountability in service delivery to vulnerable individuals. In these tighter economic times, quality data will help service providers to make their case for funding with potential funders. Day gave the following examples of EBPs (also referred to as evidence based services) that were offered through a practical, hands-on approach:
Other models of permanent housing
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT Teams)
Morris discussed motivational thinking – for example, thinking about what to do differently when you are not getting the desired results? It is critical for providers to become comfortable collecting and using data.