Goldstream Group is conducting a program evaluation of the newly funded Young Child Wellness program, a collaboration among the Fairbanks Native Association, Alaska Center for Children and Adults, and ThrivAlaska. The program will promote wellness of children ages birth to eight and their families by addressing social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral development. The purpose of the programevaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the project to address child (ages birth to 8) mental health in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.The program evaluation will be formative in nature in order to provide feedback to the project partners for program improvement and to identify specific characteristics that can be replicated in future program design and development. A summative report will identify the specific project components that were particularly effective and contributed most to the achieved outcomes.
The Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) Housing First program provides single-occupancy apartments for 39 adult chronically homeless alcoholics and 1-bedroom apartments for 8 adult chronically homeless alcoholics. The building provides several common areas, including a commercial kitchen and dining room, meeting spaces, and an outdoor smoking area. Residents are allowed to drink alcohol in the privacy of their own apartments, but not in common areas. Illegal drugs are not allowed. Supportive services will be provided to promote housing success.
The evaluation used several data sources to report on program impacts, including data from public agencies, interviews with Housing First residents, and program observations. The evaluation collected outcome data prior to Housing First residency as well as quarterly throughout the time period from May 2012 to January 2013, and continues collection annually thereafter.
The evaluation provided data driven analysis of how Housing First residency affected rates of use of various resources. This in turn provided TCC – and organizations beyond – evidence of the strengths of programs such as Housing First, and can help Fairbanks and other communities make informed decisions about continuation or formation of similar programs.