Where are we now? The Western Canada HIV Supported Housing Project

The Western Canada HIV Supported Housing: Outcome Tools Development Project (led by Dr. Cathy Worthington, University of Victoria and Floyd Visser, The SHARP Foundation) recognized a need for common outcome measures and outcome evaluation to support program delivery and sustain funding for HIV supported housing services, especially those services for people living with HIV/AIDS with complex needs. Housing is a key structural factor in HIV transmission and in determining the health of HIV; this study will create the foundation for outcome studies in participating HIV Supported Housing services.

Four agencies have been involved in the project: The SHARP Foundation (Calgary, AB), McLaren Housing Society (Vancouver, BC), Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation (Vancouver, BC), and Sanctum Housing (Saskatoon, SK). In March 2015, the project brought together stakeholders from the four HIV Supported Housing agencies, as well as individuals from public health, the homeless-serving sector, government, and academia at a two-day workshop. The project team discussed their needs for outcome measurements and established a plan to develop program-specific logic models to help inform the outcome measurement tool development process.

Over the summer, interviews will be conducted with service users and their family members at each of the four agencies to ensure that their perspectives on required outcome measures are included. The project team will meet in Fall 2015 to discuss their progress to date and to draft a common outcome measures tool. A database will be created and staff will be trained so that outcome measures can be collected and used for subsequent research.

This project will be instrumental in measuring the impact of HIV Supported Housing services on their clients and community and will help to leverage funding for these integral programs.

(Written by Kaylee Ramage)

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