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Article
Exploring the role of housing type, neighborhood characteristics, and lifestyle factors in the community integration of formerly homeless persons diagnosed with mental illness
Journal of Mental Health (2007)
  • Phillip Yanos, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Barbara Felton, Pathways to Housing
  • Sam Tsemberis
Abstract
Background: Little is still known about what community, individual and program factors contribute to the successful community integration of formerly homeless persons diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI). Aims: The goal of this study was to use blended quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the impact of housing type (independent apartments and congregate settings) and neighborhood characteristics on physical, social and psychological aspects of community integration in this population. Method: Forty-four persons who had been stably housed for at least one year completed quantitative and qualitative assessments examining different aspects of community integration. Neighborhood structural variables were also examined using census data. Results: Quantitative findings confirm that community integration is multidimensional, and that different aspects of housing and neighborhood influence different dimensions of community integration. The concept of ‘‘locus of meaningful activity’’ (a lifestyle characteristic) emerged as an important construct from qualitative analyses. Locus of meaningful activity was associated with greater psychological integration and was linked to housing type. Conclusions: Findings offer direction for future studies seeking to understand the factors that influence the community integration of formerly homeless persons with SMI. Declaration of interest: Two authors are affiliated with Pathways to Housing, which provides services to homeless persons with SMI.
Keywords
  • Community services,
  • community integration,
  • severe mental illness,
  • homeless persons
Publication Date
2007
Citation Information
Phillip Yanos, Barbara Felton and Sam Tsemberis. "Exploring the role of housing type, neighborhood characteristics, and lifestyle factors in the community integration of formerly homeless persons diagnosed with mental illness" Journal of Mental Health Vol. 16 Iss. 6 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sam_tsemberis/2/