, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 699-704
Date: 28 Feb 2012

Characteristics of Homeless Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses Served by Three Street-Level Federally Funded Homelessness Programs

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Introduction

In 2010, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s biannual point-in-time census of people who are homeless estimated that approximately 649,000 people in the U.S. were homeless on a given night. Just over one-quarter (26.2%) of the sheltered individuals were also reported as having severe mental illness (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2009). The homeless mentally ill (HMI) population has been reported as hard-to-reach (Padgett et al. 2008) and in need of specialized, collaborative, street-level clinical approaches (Morse et al. 1996; Stergiopoulos et al. 2010; Susser et al. 1990). Yet, these individuals face significant barriers when trying to access services (Applewhite 1997; O’Connell et al. 2004; Stergiopoulos et al. 2010), particularly public mental health services (Page 2007). To assist this population, three Federal programs were designed to meet their street-level needs (Rowe et al. 1998) and provide a referral mechanism to ma ...