Dr. Scott Young and Mr. Paul Smits Receive Five-Year Award to Develop, Implement, and Evaluate Low Demand, Harm Reduction Based Housing in VA-Funded Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Programs

University of South Florida partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs in a five-year $291,221 contract (one year with four option years) to offer GPD providers an opportunity to revise their program designs using a Low Demand/Harm Reduction model to better accommodate chronically homeless Veterans with substance use and/or mental health disorders who were unsuccessful with traditional housing programs. Under the direction of Dr. Scott Young (Principal Investigator) and Mr. Paul Smits (Senior Policy Analyst) this project will design, implement, evaluate, refine, and provide technical assistance to GPD housing programs that are converting all or a portion of their beds to a Low Demand model. Low demand programs do not place sobriety or treatment participation requirements on residents for admission to and continued stay in the programs, but they expect residents to make steps towards securing permanent housing solutions. Minor infractions (e.g., curfew) are not typically grounds for dismissal from Low Demand programs, though such instances are used as opportunities to engage Veterans. Case management and motivational interviewing strategies are used to help engage residents over time.