Expanding Service Delivery: Does It Improve Relationships Among Agencies Serving Homeless People with Mental Illness?

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Abstract

Enhancing interagency services integration for homeless people has been advocated as an approach for improving service delivery to this population. In contrast to system-level “top-down” interventions, this study examines the association of expanded funding of client-level homeless services, a “bottom-up” approach, with strengthening of interorganizational relationships. We compared Veterans Affairs/non-Veterans Affairs interagency relationships at VA facilities supporting community-oriented programs (N=72), at VA facilities supporting on-site internally focused homeless programs (N=10), and at facilities with no specialized homeless programs (N=47). VA facilities that supported community-oriented homeless programs enjoyed stronger VA-community agency relationships than the other two VA facility types. The study identifies an effective bottom-up resource-based approach to services integration.