March 6, 2024

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Lauren Kestner is part of the inaugural cohort of the Addiction Policy Scholars Program.

People who use drugs (PWUD) are disproportionately represented among persons who are unsheltered or lack stable housing. The absence of safe and consistent housing worsens substance use and substance use disorders, often leading to fatal overdose events and other intersecting health conditions, such as endocarditis and sepsis. Many housing assistance programs have traditionally excluded PWUD from accessing benefits, even while simultaneously acknowledging that relapse is a symptom of substance use disorder.

Lauren Kestner’s project seeks to embed a Critical Time Intervention for Rapid Rehousing model into the Queen City Harm Reduction syringe service program to provide low-barrier housing assistance to PWUD. This project also engages members of the harm reduction community to determine how to meet the needs of unsheltered PWUD, while identifying causes of living unsheltered and barriers to accessing housing services among PWUD in the American South.

View the poster here.

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Addiction and Public Policy

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