In 2006, MHSA introduced Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) to Massachusetts. It became the Commonwealth’s first statewide Housing First initiative in the effort to end homelessness. HHG provides permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness, who tend to represent the highest usage of costly emergency public services.
HHG has received state and national recognition for its impact in reducing homelessness in Massachusetts, and the program has also become a template for implementation in other parts of the country. MHSA’s own PFS program is based on the HHG model. The concept is very straightforward: providing housing and supportive services to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness through a low-threshold, Housing First approach is less costly and more effective than managing their homelessness and health problems on the street or in shelter.
This program has generated an estimated annual savings of $6,000 per participant, including tremendous savings in health care costs. With access to supportive services through HHG, individuals no longer need to rely on public emergency services as their primary sources of care. Instead, tenants are able to access preventative and primary health care, better coordinate with behavioral health providers and maintain their housing, rather than using more costly services such as emergency shelters and detox facilities.
Since 2006, HHG has placed 1,154 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness into permanent housing with supportive services, including 281 Veterans.