Successful Systems Integration Strategies: The ACCESS Program for Persons Who Are Homeless and Mentally Ill

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In 1993, the Access to Community Care and Effective Services and Supports (ACCESS) federal demonstration program was initiated. Using a quasi-experimental design, the 5-year demonstration program sought to assess the impact of integrated systems of care on outcomes for homeless persons with mental illness. The authors report on which integration strategies were chosen and how their implementation is quantified. Data collected primarily through annual site visits revealed that only two strategies were used by all nine systems. The systems integration strategies employed remained relatively stable over the 5 years. Successful implementation appears to be related to the strategies selected.