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Evaluation of a Comprehensive Intervention Strategy in Public Housing

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
140 pages
This report describes the methodology and presents the findings from an evaluation of an intervention strategy designed to reduce substance use/abuse and its related sequelae in a sample of at-risk families living in a public housing project in New Haven, CT.
The key components of the intervention were an innovative on-site comprehensive services model that included both clinical (substance abuse treatment and family support services) and non-clinical components (e.g., extensive outreach and community organizing as well as job training and placement and GED certification), as well as high profile police involvement. Goals of the intervention were to significantly increase the proportion of residents participating in and completing intervention services, as well as a reduction in substance-related activities and crime post-intervention. At baseline, a needs assessment survey consisted of questions that addressed factors relevant to the outcomes of interest. In addition to follow-up surveys of residents at 12 and 18 months post-intervention, information was collected on crime statistics and the use of intervention services. The evaluation compared the intervention and control sites at baseline and following implementation of the intervention at 12 and 18 months. The evaluation found that over 90 clients had been served by the program during the evaluation period; 60 were referred to a variety of treatment programs, 51 to job-training and placement programs, and 92 to GED certification; a substantial proportion of residents are currently involved in services. Significant improvements over time were observed at the intervention site for drug and alcohol abuse, drug selling, and violence. A significant decrease in drug selling occurred at the intervention site compared to the control site, although drug selling remained a major problem at the intervention site. Residents reported a significant decrease in crime and improved safety over time at the intervention site; residents attributed this to an increased police presence. Five recommendations pertain to replication of the model in other public housing developments, continued evaluation with expanded emphases, and cost-effectiveness studies. 22 exhibits, 36 references, and appended evaluation tools and data

Date Published: May 1, 2001