Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Program Name/Specialization

Community Psychology

Faculty/School

Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Maritt Kirst

Advisor Role

Thesis advisor

Abstract

This research sought to assess the degree of fidelity to the Housing First model achieved by a new Housing First program in a mid-sized Canadian municipal region, and the factors that promoted or hindered fidelity therein. The program was delivering an adaptation to the Housing First model that prioritized home-based support, which was assessed simultaneously. Fidelity ratings were gathered by a team of researchers during a site visit that included observation of a staff meeting, seven interviews with program leaders and staff, two focus groups with program participants, and 10 chart reviews. Overall, the findings show a high degree of fidelity with an average score of 3.55 on a 4-point scale, across 44 fidelity domain items. Results revealed high fidelity in the domains for service philosophy, separation of housing and services and the newly created domain of support and skills development used to assess the home-based support adaptation. Lower scores were found for housing choice and structure, service array, and program design. Challenges to program fidelity were found in housing availability and affordability, service continuation through housing loss, linking with employment and educational services, 24-hour coverage, and participant representation in the program. Factors that could account for these challenges include the low vacancy rates in the jurisdiction, prescriptive policy frameworks, and a slower pace of implementation than anticipated. This study demonstrates the use of a fidelity assessment to provide direct, actionable feedback for program improvement.

Convocation Year

2020

Convocation Season

Fall

Available for download on Thursday, August 27, 2020

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