Denver SIB Demonstrates Housing Stability and Decreased Jail Stays for Chronically Homeless and Disabled Individuals

Date Published: 
July 28th, 2021

In a recent reportBreaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle with Housing First, the Urban Institute presents its findings after five years (2016 to 2020) of evaluating the Denver Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond Initiative (Denver SIB). The report on a randomized controlled trial study of 724 chronically homeless individuals with a physical or mental disability found that supportive housing, provided with a Housing First approach, can break the homelessness-jail cycle for the most vulnerable individuals.

The Urban Institute reports that in comparison with the control group (individuals that did not receive supportive housing assistance), Denver SIB supportive housing program participants that received housing assistance and intensive case management services experienced:

  • Significantly more time housed (560 days more of housing assistance over three years);
  • Reduced shelter says by 40 percent;
  • Reduced police interactions by 34 percent in police contacts and a 40 percent reduction in arrests;
  • Reduced jail stays by 30 percent and total jail days by 27 percent; and
  • Reduced use of detoxification services by 65 percent.

Urban Insititute states, “The Denver SIB demonstrated that with the offer of housing first and the right supports, people can exit homelessness and remain housed, even after living on the streets or in shelters for years and grappling with mental health and substance abuse use challenges. Furthermore, it showed that investment in supportive housing can decrease police interactions and arrest, disrupt jail cycling, and reduce the use of emergency detoxification facilities.

Click here to review the full report, Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle with Housing First.  


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