What is housing first?

Unlike traditional shelter models, where individuals and families may stay in shelter or temporary housing for months—or even years—housing first moves individuals and families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible.

Through the housing first model, those with the greatest needs are prioritized and provided with the appropriate housing supports. Once housed, the individual or family receives additional supportive services like case management, short-term rental assistance and education & employment programming to help them achieve self-sufficiency and effectively end their homelessness for good.

Housing first is nationally-recognized as the most effective method of ending homelessness.

Why housing first works

Thanks to housing first, Rhode Island has one of the lowest numbers of unsheltered homeless nationwide.

Research shows that once a person has been stabilized in housing, they are much more successful in addressing the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place.

In fact, given an adequate supply of affordable housing and appropriate support, research has shown that more than 90% of those who experience homelessness each year ultimately achieve self-sufficiency and never become homeless again.

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