Measuring Early Recovery in
Street Outreach

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Project Contact: Gabby Knighton

Finding that most outcome evaluation tools are better suited to later-stage recovery and traditional service environments, People Encouraging People, Inc. (PEP) and the University of Maryland School of Social Work have partnered to adapt and test a World Health Organization tool to measure early, incremental improvements in quality of life among persons served by PEP’s interdisciplinary street outreach team. 

The team utilizes a low-barrier health and housing-focused approach to creatively meet the unique behavioral health needs of persons at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The team reaches persons who use opioids through specialized staff -- certified peers, housing and benefits specialists, clinical counselors, and a DEA-waivered prescriber -- and interventions such as harm reduction and medications for addiction treatment. The adapted tool will be designed in partnership with staff and clients and will be assessed for feasibility, reliability, validity, and completeness. 

The goal is to develop a tool better suited to low-barrier environments that serve persons with extremely low baseline quality of health, often for short periods of time, to better capture improvements in motivation, safety, relationships, etc. that have been widely anecdotally observed to be essential early steps on the path to recovery.