Brian Dates, Director of Evaluation and Research at Southwest Counseling Solutions, has been selected to participate in two national panels of experts to develop evaluations of federal initiatives designed to reduce homelessness.
Ultimately, the goal of the panels is to help improve the quality and effectiveness of the initiatives.
One of the panels will develop the comprehensive evaluation model for a supportive housing program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). The program combines housing support and intensive individualized support services to help homeless persons with serious psychiatric conditions and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. The recently ended SAMHSA funded Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program for homeless individuals at Southwest Counseling Solutions’ Housing Resource Center (HRC) was part of this initiative.
At the same time, Brian will serve on a panel of experts to assist in the development of the evaluation model for a supportive housing program funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). The Homeless Recovery Project at the HRC is part of this initiative.
The panels of experts that include Brian will identify the major evaluation questions and issues; develop a model to analyze the program process and outcomes; review the methodology and sampling procedures; and plan other important data analyses.
Brian has considerable experience in evaluating mental health and substance abuse programs. He has been working in the field for more than thirty years and has received national recognition for his expertise. His work includes evaluating the ACT model implemented by Southwest Counseling Solutions (SWCS) to address homelessness; a cost/benefit analysis of SWCS’ permanent supportive housing approach; and a study of SWCS’ blended management approach to housing.
“I think that the invitations to serve on the expert panels mean several things for Southwest Solutions,” Brian says.
“First, it indicates how effective the recently ended SAMHSA funded Assertive Community Treatment for Homeless Individuals program was on a national scale. It is really the results of the program that enabled Southwest to gain the kind of exposure that leads to being selected to be on an advisory panel. Second, because the program represented an adaptation of the Assertive Community Treatment model to a population of homeless individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, selection to the panels strongly implies that we are successful in adapting evidence based practices to new populations and therefore are at the front of translational programming. Finally, panel membership suggests that our efforts to develop expertise in program evaluation and research have been recognized nationally as well.”