Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Lay summary under review 2

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Julian Somers


Contact details

Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
V5A 1S6
+1 778 782-5049

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Research demonstration project on homelessness and mental health– Vancouver BC


Study hypothesis

Individuals assigned to either Housing First plus Assertive Community Treatment or those assigned to Congregate Housing plus Supports will have superior outcomes (i.e., health, quality of life, housing stability, emergency service use, justice system contacts) than individuals assigned to treatment as usual.

Ethics approval

1. Research Ethics Board at Simon Fraser University (primary site), 22 June 2009
2. University of British Columbia: 28 July 2009
3. Providence Healthcare: 30 August 2011
4. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute approval pending

Study design

Randomized controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Homelessness, precarious housing, mental illness


300 people who are both homeless and mentally ill randomized to 1of 3 conditions:
1. Housing First (HF) + Assertive Community Treatment
2. Congregate Housing + Supports
3. Treatment as usual (TAU)

Housing First (Tsemberis & Eisenberg, 2000) offers homeless people with mental illness immediate access to independent apartments with a market lease, without any requirements around sobriety or engagement in treatment. Housing First participants are provided access to an array of treatment and social services, but they retain the right to choose their level of participation.

Assertive Community Treatment consists of a multi-disciplinary health and social service team working 24 hours a day, 7
days a week with a case load ranging from 50 to 100 clients. The team responds directly to most of their clients community based care needs.

Congregate Housing with Supports differs from HF by locating individuals in the same building rather than promoting housing in “scattered sites” where individuals are neighbored by the full diversity of people living in market housing. The supports associated with Congregate Housing in the present study are comparable in intensity (i.e., budget and composition) to those of the Assertive Community Treatment team. However, in the congregate condition these supports are provided on site while the ACT team visits clients in their scattered apartments.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Service use changes drawn from administrative data concerning healthcare, social services, and justice system events.
2. Costs related to these events in relation to costs of providing services.
Sources of data for these measures are the government departments responsible for health, justice, and social welfare services. Data will be collected pending participant consent for access. Data will be requested for several years prior to participant enrollment in the Vancouver At Home Study, and will be refreshed following the completion of the 24-month study period in order to monitor longer-term changes in the level and type of service use associated with participants in the years following the completion of the study.

Secondary outcome measures

Numerous questionnaires and additional cross-sectional sources of data include qualitative interviews and physical health examinations with subsets of the total study cohort. These additional measures are gathered to characterize the sample and better understand participant experiences but they are not considered outcome measures.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Legal adult status (19 years of age or over)
2. Presence of a current mental disorder, and
3. Being absolutely homeless or precariously housed.
3.1. Absolute homelessness was defined as living on the streets or in a shelter for at least two weeks
during the past year.
3.2. Precariously housed was defined as living in a rooming house, hotel or other form of transitional housing with at least one episode of absolute homelessness in the past year.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

Does not meet inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Simon Fraser University
V5A 1S6

Sponsor information


Mental Health Commission of Canada (Canada)

Sponsor details

10301 Southport Lane
SW Suite 800
T2W 1S7
+1 613 683-3755

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Mental Health Commission of Canada (Canada)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2013 results in:
2013 results in:

Publication citations

  1. Results

    Somers JM, Rezansoff SN, Moniruzzaman A, Palepu A, Patterson M, Housing first reduces re-offending among formerly homeless adults with mental disorders: results of a randomized controlled trial., PLoS ONE, 2013, 8, 9, e72946, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072946.

  2. Results

    Somers JM, Patterson ML, Moniruzzaman A, Currie L, Rezansoff SN, Palepu A, Fryer K, Vancouver At Home: pragmatic randomized trials investigating Housing First for homeless and mentally ill adults., Trials, 2013, 14, 365, doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-365.

Additional files

Editorial Notes