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Editorial
May 6, 2009

Housing the Chronically HomelessHigh Hopes, Complex Realities

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Surgical, Medical Acute Care Research and Transitions, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Dr Kertesz); and Veterans Affairs Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago (Dr Weiner).

JAMA. 2009;301(17):1822-1824. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.596

During the last decade, federal policy has concentrated on ending “chronic homelessness,” a designation that applies to approximately 18% of the 671 888 persons identified as homeless on a single night in 2007.1 Few interventions have attracted more interest than an approach to permanent housing known as Housing First.2 Two articles in JAMA, one published in the April 1, 2009, issue3 and one in this issue,4 advance understanding of this housing approach and raise questions about where and to whom it should be applied.

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