Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Educational module to help the homeless obtain and maintain housing

Technology #cu17355

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Researchers
Sharon A. Gutman
Managed By
Sara Gusik

This technology is a set of educational and training modules designed to help the homeless acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain and maintain long-term housing.

Unmet Need: Efficient educational training components for facilitating residential transition from homeless shelters

The number of homeless people, as well as the cost of assisting them and providing shelters, are increasing in the United States. A study on homelessness in New York City indicated that placing people in supportive housing can help to reduce these costs. While there are programs designed to help individuals obtain housing, they do not address the everyday life skills, such as monetary management or communicating with landlords, that are necessary to maintain long-term housing.

The Technology: Versatile, cost-effective educational tools to aid with residential transition

This technology is a set of educational and training modules designed to help the homeless acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain and maintain long-term housing. These components are presented as narrated PowerPoint slideshows and are available on DVDs. An included facilitator script enables any housing agency staff member to be able to run these modules with minimal preparation or training, making it cost-effective and versatile. The training structure also incorporates breaks for hands-on activities to allow participants to practice the skills taught in each module with a variety of activities that require minimal resources. This technology has been field-tested with homeless adults with mental illness and substance abuse, with participants demonstrating increased progress towards housing goals and having higher quality of life ratings.

Applications:

  • Life skills training programs in homeless service agencies
  • Training modules for supportive education

Advantages:

  • Cost effective
  • Adaptable for use with other supportive and occupational training programs
  • Simplified, efficient structure enables use by any staff member without training

Lead Inventor:

Sharon Gutman, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA

Related Publications:

Tech Ventures Reference: