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‘It maybe doesn’t seem much, but to me it’s my kingdom’: staff and client experiences of Housing First in Scotland

Miler, Joanna Astrid; Foster, Rebecca; Hnizdilova, Kristina; Murdoch, Helen; Parkes, Tessa


Joanna Astrid Miler

Kristina Hnizdilova

Helen Murdoch

Tessa Parkes


Housing First (HF) represents a significant shift in the way that the problem of homelessness and co-occuring challenges including problem substance use, is addressed. HF interventions have been the focus of much research. Quantitative studies have consistently shown positive findings regarding housing outcomes, with results regarding health and well-being outcomes more mixed. To date, limited attention has been paid to the experiences and perspectives of HF service providers, and few studies have explored the views of those HF recipients. In enabling providers and recipients to share their professional and personal experiences of HF, qualitative insights can help inform, and improve, service provision and practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven HF staff members and 11 clients in a single third sector service in Scotland. Overall, clients experienced HF positively and described how involvement in HF had enabled positive changes in their lives. Service providers reported positive views on HF alongside ways to maximize the effectiveness of the model. While our findings provide support for current efforts to promote HF as an approach to help end homelessness, a number of challenges exist. To address these, we propose a set of recommendations for those planning and implementing HF services.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2021
Online Publication Date May 18, 2021
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Sep 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 22, 2022
Journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Print ISSN 0968-7637
Electronic ISSN 1465-3370
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 231-244
Keywords Housing First, homelessness, substance use, qualitative research, public health
Public URL


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