This report presents a literature review of current research evidence on harm reduction approaches and interventions for severe and chronic alcohol use in housing support initiatives such as the Housing First (HF) model or transitional and emergency housing for individuals who are experiencing homelessness. The impetus for the project has resulted from the communityengaged scholarship and consultation between University of Regina faculty, students and Carmichael Outreach Inc., and it is informed by the agency’s direct experiences with clients, who in addition to stable housing, require supports for their chronic alcohol problems and health social issues.

A review of the literature showed that HF programs are compatible with alcohol harm reduction plans that do not require abstinence from alcohol or other psychoactive substances as a prerequisite for receiving and maintaining housing supports. Therefore, the goal of the present literature review on harm reduction for chronic and severe alcohol use, including its nonbeverage forms, is to inform discussion, advocacy and future decision-making for evidenceinformed interventions for alcohol moderation among individuals who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Moreover, the literature review has helped us “take stock” of current evidence related to Managed Alcohol Programs (MAPs) and the factors that can facilitate or impede their full implementation into practice.


September, 2018, Prepared for Carmichael Outreach Inc. This report has been developed with the financial support of the Community Research Unit at the University of Regina Faculty of Arts, and the Regina Public Interest Research Group [RPIRG] in consultation with Carmichael Outreach Inc.

Erin Nielsen Research Assistant University of Regina Faculty of Nursing
Gabriela Novotna, PhD Associate Professor University of Regina Faculty of Social Work, Social Policy Research Centre
Rochelle Berenyi Communications, Advocacy, & Project Officer Carmichael Outreach Inc.
Nicholas Olson Community Volunteer & Community Advocate Carmichael Outreach Inc.