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Model Program: Integrated Services for Homeless Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses

AB-34 Projects - Named after California Legislation of 2000

Goal

To "do whatever it takes" to meet the needs of homeless persons with serious mental illnesses, whether on the street, under a bridge, or in jail.

Features

Outreach (often by formerly homeless people), comprehensive services, 24/7 availability, partnerships with community providers, and real-time evaluation. Flexible funding, not driven by eligibility requirements.

Outcomes

66% decrease in number of days of psychiatric hospitalization, 82% decrease in days of incarceration, and 80% fewer days of homelessness.100

Biggest challenge

To change the culture, attitudes, and values around treating difficult populations with different strategies. Traditional services and providers tend to want to continue "business as usual" and follow funding streams rather than integrate services or share responsibility.

How other organizations can adopt

Change infrastructure to integrate services. This concept is a different way of doing business and requires links to a broader array of services, not just mental health.

Web sites

www.ab34.org (The web site is currently being developed and will be expanded soon.)

www.dmh.ca.gov (click on Community Mental Health Services, Homeless Mentally Ill Programs, and then Integrated Services for the Homeless Mentally Ill.

Sites

38 California counties

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