Rockville, Md. – California’s Project Roomkey (PRK) has helped more than 42,000 people experiencing homelessness move into safe temporary housing in hotels and motels during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program serves people experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive, who have been exposed to COVID, or who are at higher risk for contracting the illness. Abt Associates will evaluate the program’s statewide implementation along with the health and housing outcomes of people who used the program.
Abt is partnering with California Health Care Foundation and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to design and execute an evaluation of how California communities designed and implemented PRK. Abt will assess statewide implementation of PRK, its outcomes and impacts, and disseminate the key findings and lessons learned for housing, healthcare, and homeless service systems. Ultimately, the evaluation will help determine if this approach could be replicated during future health or environmental emergencies, or even as a new way of helping people experiencing homelessness transition to permanent housing. Additionally, as a collaboration between housing and health systems, PRK could offer a model for similar partnerships in other states.
“From our work with the CDC to identify the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to our groundbreaking study of homeless encampments to our work with HUD on the annual report on homelessness, we know that housing is one of the major determinants of good health,” said Meryl Finkel, Ph.D., Abt principal associate and housing practice lead. “We look forward to utilizing both our evaluation expertise and our deep knowledge of the housing and homelessness crisis across California and social determinants of health on this project.”
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. https://www.abtassociates.com
About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $7.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org for more information.
About the California Health Care Foundation
The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. CHCF works to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. CHCF also informs policymakers and industry leaders, invests in ideas and innovations, and connects with changemakers to create a more responsive, patient-centered health care system.