Community Development, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Cycle of Homelessness, Incarceration, and High Public Cost Can Be Broken

Corporation for Supportive Housing

A recent evaluation of the FUSE (Frequent Users Systems Engagement) program in New York City shows that participation in the program has a significant impact on homelessness, incarceration and the costs to the public systems. FUSE is an initiative of the Corporation for Supportive Housing to help communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services and involvement in shelters and the criminal justice system.

Columbia University conducted an evaluation of NYC FUSE that looked at participants over a 24 month period versus a comparison group. The evaluation found that FUSE participants spent half as many days in psychiatric inpatient centers as the comparison group and they averaged 29 days in jail versus 48 days in jail for the comparison group. Most strikingly, FUSE participants averaged 15 days in shelters vs. 162 days for comparison group. FUSE participants stayed housed with 81% in FUSE housing at 24 months and 86% in permanent housing in 24 months.

Connecticut is also one of the states involved in this signature initiative. FUSE here has expanded to include Social Innovation Fund's (SIF) CT Integrated Health and Housing Networks (CIHHN) project which focuses on high-cost, high-need Medicaid recipients who are homeless. A policy group is working to support FUSE expansion by 160 units.

Click here for the full evaluation of NYC FUSE. 
Read more about the Connecticut FUSE program. 


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