While there have been some evaluations of individual MOIs, no systematic review of outcomes across programs has been conducted to date. This study addresses this knowledge gap by offering a scoping review of the existing body of research. The aims of this study are to map and assess individual-level outcomes of MOIs, and highlight lessons learned from these evaluations to improve both research in this area and the effectiveness of future MOIs.
Methods: To achieve these aims, we followed Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) five stages for conducting scoping reviews: 1) identifying the research question; 2) identifying relevant studies; 3) study selection; 4) charting the data; and 5) collating, summarizing, and reporting results. Major research databases and grey literature were searched with common search terms identified in the literature. Four subject-matter experts were contacted to supplement any missing relevant sources. All sources were then screened by two independent researchers using the following inclusion criteria: 1) presented qualitative or quantitative findings on MOI move rates, post-move housing retention, or other MOI participant outcomes; 2) available in English and; 3) the most current version of the document. A total of 273 unique sources were tracked and screened for these criteria resulting in a final sample of 14 included sources. Included sources were also mapped in tables using a fixed template to enhance consistency and to minimize bias.
Findings: The 14 identified sources detailed outcomes from a total of 17 MOIs from the U.S. and Canada. MOI move rates varied, with the largest MOI reporting 262 individuals moving on through the initiative while the smallest reported only 10 moves. Post-move housing retention rates ranged from 100% to 88%. Other common outcomes tracked included housing/neighborhood related outcomes, transition-related outcomes, community integration, health/healthcare service outcomes, independence/empowerment, and financial stability.
This review finds that MOIs generally report high housing retention rates and housing/neighborhood satisfaction post-move, as well as an improved sense of empowerment among movers. While outcomes were generally positive across MOIs, a minority of movers experienced challenges related to housing retention, loneliness, and a lack of necessary transitional supports.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings suggest that MOIs can be successful vehicles for transitioning PSH residents to more independent housing. However, inconsistent outcome reporting across studies made it difficult to draw direct comparisons between programs. Future research would benefit from the development and implementation of standardized tools to assess MOI effectiveness. Findings on the minority of movers who experienced poor post-move outcomes also suggests that MOIs may benefit from better targeting and/or more robust transition supports to improve outcomes for this sub-group of movers.