Each of the four papers in this symposium represents different studies that used diverse methods in examining HF programs in the United States. The first paper uses quantitative methods to examine whether HF participants' quality of life improves as their housing tenure increases and whether any improvement is associated with increased community involvement during the first year after transitioning from homelessness to independent apartment living. The remaining three papers make use of qualitative methods including ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews with HF consumers and program staff in order to better understand: 1) the initial engagement process within a HF program; 2) what harm reduction means within HF; and, 3) whether and how HF can serve as an alternative to incarceration programs. The discussant, Dr. Deborah Padgett, will frame these presentations in light of her NIMH-funded qualitative study of Housing First and mental health recovery. Presenters and the discussant will conclude the symposium with a panel discussion of the cumulative evidence on HF—both positive and negative—and the challenges of implementation research in complex urban settings with deeply disadvantaged populations.