Social IMPACT Research Center Publications

The Social IMPACT Research Center has an extensive portfolio of needs assessment and evaluation research on issues facing poor and low-income populations. Our user-friendly work equips nonprofits, foundations, and governments to advance real-world solutions to poverty.
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The Journey Home

August 7, 2021

This report is the culmination of a two-year long project centering the voices of young people(YP) and the staff who work directly with young people to better understand the experiences ofhousing (in)stability that young people face after they have transitioned out of the child welfaresystem (DCFS) and the juvenile justice system (DJJ). Specifically, we wanted to explorethe transition planning processes from the DCFS Countdown to 21 program and theDJJ Aftercare program and the ways in which these programs succeed or struggle toprovide young people with the necessary skills, knowledge, and supports as they emergeinto adulthood. This report accompanies a website, Day2Day, which provides linkages andresources to a myriad of information and tools that young people might need as they emerge intoadulthood. All of the interviews, surveys and the journey mapping we facilitated informed both theDay2Day website as well as this report.

Integrated Care in a Fast- Changing and Slow-Moving Environment: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Health Neighborhood Project

July 23, 2020

Health Neighborhood, a pilot project within Heartland Alliance Health (HAH), intended to create a population-based approach of improving integrated care among people with experiences of homelessness, who were housed in permanent supportive housing (PSH). The program was built on through intensive partnerships between HAH and five Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) providers: Chicago House, North Side Housing and Supportive Services, Deborah's Place, Housing Opportunities for Women, and Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS). The program was implemented from 2016 – 2019, and served 46 participants.

Healthcare; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

Motivational Interviewing: HIV-Related Health Outcomes and Social Determinants of Health

January 14, 2020

For individuals experiencing housing insecurity—and other hardships associated with poverty, such as low rates of health literacy, food insecurity, lack of transportation, and restricted access to quality health care—an HIV diagnosis exacerbates an already burdened quality of life. These larger structural barriers may inhibit HIV+ participants from feeling able to change individual-level behaviors which may complicate their HIV status. One counseling intervention that addresses obstacles to change is Motivational Interviewing (MI). MI is a collaborative, client centered approach that fosters communication between a service provider and their recipient with the goal of identifying and resolving the change goals identified during the counseling session. Studies on healthcare outcomes for chronically ill individuals who received MI interventions indicate that, when followed properly, MI can effect long-term, positive behavior changes. This paper defines MI, explores it's applications among HIV+ participants, describes an MI fidelity monitoring tool, and situates MI relevance while acknowledging the influence of social determinants of health.

Healthcare; Poverty

The Social Return on Investment for New Moms

August 1, 2018

New Moms (www.newmoms.org) is a non-profit organization based in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago and in Oak Park, IL that provides wraparound health, housing, and social services to young moms. New Moms utilizes an integrated, participant (and woman)-centered approach to interrupt the two-generation cycle of poverty, by focusing on critical life services both for moms and children. The current program structure is built on a three-pronged approach of housing, family support services, and job training, with over arching support and referral services infused throughout all programming.The New Moms SROI study encompassed October 2015 - September 2017, and included all young women who exited any of the three New Moms program areas during this time and who fell below 138% of the Federal Poverty Line.The findings show that investing in New Moms generates nearly a 4-fold return for every dollar invested. This SROI clearly makes the case that transitional supportive housing, paired with holistic wrap around services, is a critical intervention, specifically for young moms. If, as a society, we believe in investing in breaking the two-generation cycle of poverty, then the value provided by this model should serve as a clear call to investment.

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