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While conducting a study of emergency and transitional shelter programs (published in July, 2002), several individuals in the policy and research communities with whom we met suggested WFF consider evaluating the Safe Haven program. In an effort to gauge the interest of the Safe Haven community in a study and analysis of that program, WFF hosted two conference calls with a variety of Safe Haven providers and members of the policy and research communities. The idea of conducting a Safe Haven study was strongly endorsed by the approximately 30 people who participated in these calls. The comments made during the conference calls suggested there is a dearth of information on Safe Haven programs, including how they are structured and operate, how they are funded, the nature of their philosophies and their effectiveness at transitioning the chronically homeless, mentally ill person into permanent housing. We hope this study will prove useful to Safe Haven providers as they seek to make changes and improvements to their programs, and to communities that plan to open Safe Havens and want to benefit from the experiences of extant Safe Haven programs as they design and structure their own programs. We should note that, in this study, a conscious decision was made not to look in any detail at the clinical symptoms of Safe Haven residents and draw any conclusions about the impact the Safe Haven program has on their recovery. WFF's focus was instead on program components and whether conclusionscould be drawn about the effectiveness of Safe Havens in moving its residents into permanent housing.

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