Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Unstable housing among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA): A review of the literature and cost comparison of organizations that may provide shelter and related services

Neely, Brittney (2017) Unstable housing among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA): A review of the literature and cost comparison of organizations that may provide shelter and related services. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Submitted Version

Download (494kB) | Preview


Stable housing is imperative for the health and well-being of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). However, housing instability remains prevalent among this population due to a range of socioecological factors. This paper provides a review of the relevant literature and a cost comparison of organizations that provide shelter and related services in Pittsburgh, PA. It was hypothesized that the comparator organization, The Open Door, Inc., provides housing services for PLWHA at a lower per-night, per-person cost when compared to alternative organizations that provide non-permanent housing. Organizations targeted for data collection were shelters, temporary/transitional housing programs, correctional facilities, hospitals/medical facilities, psychological/behavioral health facilities, and substance use rehabilitation facilities within the city of Pittsburgh. Data collection was completed through website searches, review of non-profit profiles on, and contact with staff members of participating organizations. Data sets were gathered and/or confirmed for 33 organizations. Findings indicate that residential programs charge served individuals no or nominal per-night, per-person fees, with annual implementation costs reported separately. The $12.50 nightly rate charged to the client by The Open Door is comparable to other transitional housing programs. Hospitals and correctional facilities report substantially higher per-night, per-person room and board rates that are inclusive of implementation costs; these fees involve direct charges to the individual as well as systems-level coverage such as health insurance and tax dollars. The comparator organization likely alleviates costs to the system by limiting stays at non-residential and emergency facilities and supporting the securing of permanent residencies. This research involves several issues of public health significance: expansion of the academic literature, HIV/AIDS, housing instability, sheltering approaches, social justice issues, housing as healthcare, and related costs. Results offer a pilot cost comparison that demonstrates housing needs of PLWHA, opportunities for improving efforts to alleviate the issue, and recommendations for future cost comparisons and service provision.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Neely, Brittneybuffner@pitt.edubuffner
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHawk, Marymary.hawk@pitt.edumeh96
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduemfelter
Committee MemberMarx, Johnjmarx@pitt.edujmarx
Committee MemberFarmartino,
Date: 24 February 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 December 2016
Approval Date: 24 February 2017
Submission Date: 27 November 2016
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: unstable housing among PLWHA, HIV/AIDS housing
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2017 17:36
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2018 06:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item