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Resource | Lessons Learned

An Evaluation of Recovery Housing in Missouri: Key Outcomes and Recommendations

Overview: Pulled from evaluation written by Claire Wood, PhD; Brenna Lohmann, MSW; Kori Richardson, MPP; Alex Duello, MPH; Marsha Hourd; Rosie Anderson-Harper, MA; and Rachel Winograd, PhD.

Between legislative advances for increasing recovery budgets, creation of recovery housing standards by the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR), and increasing support of the use of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) as part of an abstinence-based recovery path, recovery housing has made substantial progress in finding ways to support individuals in their recovery.

As part of SAMHSA-funded awards focused on addressing the opioid crisis, the State Targeted Response (STR) (2017-2019) and State Opioid Response (SOR) grants (2018-present), a team based out of the University of Missouri, St. Louis–Missouri Institute of Mental Health (UMSL-MIMH) conducted a robust mixed methods evaluation of recovery homes across the state. The goal of the evaluation was to provide insights to the Missouri recovery system and identify gaps and strategies to better support individuals in their recovery. The two-part evaluation of the recovery housing system included:

  1. Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) evaluation, consisting of five workshops with recovery housing managers and residents. These workshops gave opportunities for stakeholders to voice their thoughts and provided key insights about ways to improve the recovery housing system.
  2. survey of recovery housing characteristics, designed to establish a point-in-time estimate of current recovery housing residents, assess the overall climate and acceptance of MOUD, and identify housing characteristics and variation across houses (e.g., policies, procedures, structures, external environments). This article will focus on a summary of this specific component of the evaluation.