• Mental health;
  • homeless populations;
  • health care organizations and systems


This study examined variation in the implementation of California's Full Service Partnerships (FSPs), which are supported housing programs that do “whatever it takes” to improve outcomes among persons with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Data Sources/Setting

Ninety-three FSPs in California.

Study Design

A mixed methods approach was selected to develop a better understanding of the complexity of the FSP programs. The design structure was a combined explanatory and exploratory sequential design (qual[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]QUAN[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]qual) where a qualitative focus group was used to develop a quantitative survey that was followed by qualitative site visits. The survey was used to describe the breadth of variation based on fidelity to the Housing First model, while the site visits were used to provide a depth of information on high- versus low-fidelity programs.

Principal Findings

We found substantial variation in implementation among FSPs. Fidelity was particularly low along domains related with housing and service philosophy, indicating that many FSPs implemented a rich array of services but applied housing readiness requirements and did not adhere to consumer choice in housing.


There remains room for improvement in the recovery-orientation of FSPs. Fortunately, we have identified several processes by which program managers and counties can increase the fidelity of their programs.