In this webinar, Dr. Dennis Watson of Chestnut Health Systems discussed the Housing First approach and how it compares with the Continuum of Care/Treatment First approach. Dr. Watson discussed the issues related to implementation of harm reduction principles within Housing First programs and highlight possible implications for residents who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Joining Dr. Watson was Ed Stellon of Heartland Alliance and Dr. Carrie Pettus of Justice System Partners. Mr. Stellon is the Executive Director of Heartland Alliance, and has worked with Dr. Watson in the past to address implementation strategies for evidence-based practices related to housing first models. He shared his insights from the lens of a practitioner who has overseen various treatment programs, homeless service systems and has cultivated extensive knowledge in these areas by working with the substance use and mental health disorder population. Dr. Pettus discussed findings from her new report “Housing Stability after Incarceration,” which draws on interview data from a series of people two weeks, eight months, and 14 months post-release. The report centers housing as a key social determinant in successful reentry to understand how to focus resources on those most in need.