Housing Smart

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An innovative collaboration between RHD, Temple University Hospital, Keystone First, and the Health Partners Insurance Plan, Housing Smart aims to improve the health of people experiencing homelessness by delivering stable housing and support services. This reduces emergency room use and delivers better health care at a lower cost.

To qualify for Housing Smart, participants must be frequent utilizers of emergency rooms; have a chronic health condition, a serious mental illness, and/or a substance use disorder; and be experiencing homelessness. Participants are met where they are on their recovery journey and assisted in achieving (and maintaining) permanent supportive living.

Each of the four Housing Smart partners has a specific role. Temple University Hospital works with Health Partners Plans (HPP) and Keystone First to identify the participating patients who are members of the health plans. RHD then engages with the participants to connect them with housing and other non-clinical services. RHD also conducts the community-based work for the program, consisting of Peer Support Services, Care Coordination, and Housing Support Services. Additionally, RHD supports participant linkages to specialized services, including those for addiction treatment and behavioral health issues.

Housing Smart has had impressive results. Measurable outcomes include a 75% decrease in emergency department visits, a 79% decrease in inpatient admissions, a 77% decrease in admissions for observation, and a 50% increase in outpatient appointments.

Innovation and collaboration have always been an integral part of RHD, and Housing Smart has been a powerful way to support the needs of the people we support.

“We’re excited to bring this new approach to Philadelphia,” said RHD CEO Marco Giordano. “As we celebrate more than 50 years of service, RHD is proud to be part of another innovative collaboration that provides life-changing services to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable populations and takes trauma-informed care to the next level.”

Housing Smart participant Rita can provide firsthand testimony to the effectiveness of the program: “Housing Smart has been wonderful – I can’t believe how quickly I got housing! The program has helped me have more independence and self-worth. It’s made me realize that there are still good people in the world that care, and I am truly grateful!”

Moving forward, Housing Smart will have a greater focus on employment and training opportunities for participants that help with sustaining housing and broadening life enhancing opportunities.

For more information: www.rhd.org/housingsmart