Benefits of the PRISM Shelter-Based Program for Attainment of Stable Housing and Functional Outcomes by People Experiencing Homelessness and Mental Illness: A Quantitative Analysis

Can J Psychiatry. 2023 Mar 20;7067437231162494. doi: 10.1177/07067437231162494. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To explore the housing trajectory, personal recovery, functional level, and quality of life of clients at discharge and 1 year after completing Projet Réaffiliation Itinérance Santé Mentale (PRISM), a shelter-based mental health and rehabilitation program intended to provide individuals experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness with transition housing and to reconnect them with mental health and social services.

Method: Housing status, psychiatric follow-up trajectory, personal recovery (Canadian Personal Recovery Outcome Measure), functional level (Multnomah Community Ability Scale), and quality of life (Lehman Quality of Life Interview) were assessed at program entry, at program discharge and 1 year later.

Results: Of the 50 clients who participated in the study from May 31, 2018, to December 31, 2019, 43 completed the program. Of these, 76.7% were discharged to housing modalities and 78% were engaged with psychiatric follow-up at the program's end. Housing stability, defined as residing at the same permanent address since discharge, was achieved for 62.5% of participants at 1-year follow-up. Functional level and quality of life scores improved significantly both at discharge and at 1-year follow-up from baseline.

Conclusions: Admission to PRISM helped clients secure long-term stable housing and appropriate psychiatric follow-up. Stable housing was maintained for most clients at 1-year follow-up, and they benefited from sustained functional and quality of life outcomes in long-term follow-up.

Keywords: emergency shelter; homeless persons; housing; mental disorders; mental health services; quality of life.; severe; urban health services.