The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2014 Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals-Services in Supportive Housing (GBHI-SSH). The purpose of this program is to support the development and/or expansion of local implementation and community infrastructures that integrate treatment and services for substance use, co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, permanent housing, and other critical services for the following: veterans who experience homelessness or chronic homelessness, and other individuals (non-veterans) who experience chronic homelessness. SAMHSA seeks to increase the number of program-enrolled individuals placed in permanent housing that supports recovery through comprehensive treatment and recovery-oriented services for behavioral health.
The major goal of the GBHI-SSH program is to ensure treatment and services for veterans who experience homelessness and chronic homelessness, and individuals (non-veterans) and families who experience chronic homelessness (hereinafter collectively referred to as “population of focus”). To achieve this goal, SAMHSA funds will support three primary types of activities: 1) behavioral health treatment and other recovery-oriented services; 2) coordination of housing and services which support the implementation and/or enhance the long-term sustainability of integrated community systems that provide permanent housing and supportive services; and 3) efforts to engage and connect clients who experience substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders to enrollment resources for health insurance, Medicaid, and other benefit programs (e.g., SSI/SSDI, TANF, SNAP, etc.).
In 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) approved Opening Doors, a Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. One of the goals of this Strategic Plan is to achieve the goal of ending homelessness for veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015. SAMHSA is committed in the effort to achieve this and other goals in the Strategic Plan. This program prioritizes veterans with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders who experience homelessness or chronic homelessness and other individuals (non-veterans) who experience chronic homelessness with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.
On a single night in January 2013, there were an estimated 610,042 sheltered and unsheltered people who were homeless nationwide. Of those, approximately 109,132 were experiencing chronic homelessness and approximately 57,849 were identified as veterans experiencing homelessness.
Persons experiencing homelessness have higher rates of substance use and problems with mental health, physical health, legal, and employment issues than those with permanent housing. Although the relationship between housing status and clinical treatment outcomes is a complex one, some studies suggest that associations exist between stable housing, lower utilization of hospital services, and more positive treatment outcomes among certain populations. Permanent housing that is offered following, or concurrent with, recovery oriented and treatment focused integrated care models can result in improved clinical outcomes.
The linkage between stable permanent housing and behavioral health services is critical for recovery. For many in recovery from substance use disorders, drug-free housing can assist with achieving long-term recovery. Such “recovery housing” can be provided through a variety of models ranging from peer-run, self-supported, drug-free homes to community-based housing that includes a range of supportive services.
In accordance with SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Recovery Support, this program aims to guide the behavioral health system and promote individual, program, and system-level approaches that foster health and resilience; increase permanent housing, employment, education, and other necessary supports; and reduce barriers to social inclusion.
The GBHI-SSH program seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use, and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served. (See Appendix J in the RFA: Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities).
The GBHI-SSH program is one of SAMHSA’s services grant programs. SAMHSA intends that its services grants result in the delivery of services as soon as possible after award. Service delivery should begin by the 4th month of the project at the latest.
GBHI-SSH grants are authorized under Section 506 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Mental Health and Mental Disorders Topic Area HP 2020-MHMD and Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.