Exploring new opportunities to connect health services in housing for both individuals and families recovering from homelessnessRead more
|1501 Pacific Avenue, Ste 400
Tacoma, WA 98402
Director of Community Assessment and Investment
United Way of Pierce County is committed to making measurable improvements in the lives of people in our community.
Our mission is best executed when we identify critical issues and then use your gift to fund a combination of programs and initiatives to best address those issues.
- Health care
- Affordable housing
- Education about homelessness
- Emergency shelter
- Funding advocacy
- Permanent supportive housing
- Public policy/systems change
- Rapid re-housing
- Supportive services
- Transitional housing
- Workforce development
This study from Psychiatric Services, a Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, is the first to examine the distribution of service utilization and costs with a population-based sample that experienced chronic homelessness in sheltered and unsheltered locations in a large U.S. city.
The study used shelter and street outreach records from a large U.S. city to identify 2,703 persons who met federal criteria for chronic homelessness during a three-year period. Identifiers for these persons were matched to administrative records for psychiatric care, substance abuse treatment, and incarceration.
It is always a challenge to assemble the resources to sustain supportive housing tenants in their housing, due to long histories of homelessness and complex health and behavioral health conditions. Current strategies in the United States for financing supportive services are far from optimal. Funding for homeless, behavioral health and other health care services currently in use is often fragmented across many public sector programs and agencies and the non-profit service providers they support.
The hardest element of care to fund is “the glue” that holds them all together in the service of providing PSH tenants with holistic care. “The glue” includes:
- Early activities to induce prospective tenants to accept housing and stabilize new tenants in housing and to engage them in the services and supports that will address their health, mental health, and addictions problems.
- Care coordination, including planning, involving staff able to offer all the different services needed, assuring regular consideration by team members of the tenant’s well-being and challenges to it, and, most of all, establishing a relationship of trust, openness, and support with each tenant.
- Team-building with support staff from multiple disciplines, training, and agency affiliation, independent of handling individual cases, including cross-training. Making this happen often requires external influence to bring the relevant parties together and keep them together.
This document, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Environmental Scan, reflects existing published and unpublished literature on permanent supportive housing (PSH) for people who are chronically homeless.
Health care and housing are closely intertwined and access to both is necessary for ending homelessness. This report looks at the Vulnerability Index as a way to assess the crisis in the Capitol Region of Connecticut. In order to be categorized as “vulnerable” an individual must have been homeless for at least six months and self identify as having one or more of the eight health risk factors.
In this report, Journey Home used the Vulnerability Index to identify and create a list of those who have been homeless the longest and are most at risk of mortality. Results from the Vulnerability Index can be used to estimate the healthcare resources spent on those surveyed.
This report from the Wellesley Institute records and presents the voices of high-risk, substance-using homeless street-involved youth who are engaging in some of the most risky types of drug use and practices. They present a unique insider view of the complex and diverse realities of homeless street-involved youth; their drug practices and health status; and the barriers they face in the access to and implementation of harm reduction, addiction, health and social services.
These are the voices that governments, funders, policy makers and service providers must listen to if we want to make progress in improving the lives and brightening the futures of this under-served group of youth in our community.
You can also view Shout Clinic's webinar presentation here.
Counties in California bear large hidden costs for individuals with disabilities who are indigent or homeless. A large share of this cost is health related – costs that would be paid through Medi-Cal if the individuals were receiving Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).
In the typical monthly General Relief/General Assistance statewide caseload, an estimated 51,000 individuals have disabilities, but are not receiving SSI. Eligibility rates for SSI increase markedly with age, rising from less than 20% among recipients 18-25 years of age to half among recipients 46-55 years of age. California counties could save $42 million per month and private hospitals could save another $13 million if eligible General Relief recipients with disabilities in the typical monthly caseload were moved onto SSI.
County health costs for indigent residents will be ameliorated when the Medicaid Expansion provisions of the new Federal Health Law take effect in 2014 (and to a lesser extent by the 1115 Medicaid waiver), but the extent and amount of federal offsets are not known at this time. Counties are likely to face some level of continuing costs for these residents, and there are likely to be continuing financial benefits for counties’ healthcare and GR budgets when low-income individuals with disabilities are enrolled in SSI.
This study from the Economic Roundtable examines opportunities for counties to avoid costs by moving individuals with disabilities who are General Relief recipients, medically indigent hospital patients, and homeless hospital patients onto SSI and Medi-Cal.