Basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing are things most of us take for granted, yet for someone struggling with homelessness, they are constantly in question. Everyday life becomes a challenge, and for someone with a mental illness or addiction, life can become increasingly more difficult. While there are many causes, people with mental health or substance use disorders are more susceptible to factors that lead to homelessness. They are also more likely to experience homelessness for longer periods of time or more than once. And homelessness, in turn, can amplify mental health disorders. In fact, research shows that 71% of people experiencing homelessness have a mental illness or post-traumatic stress, and 59% are struggling with long-term substance use disorders.
In order to help people out of this vicious cycle, removing barriers to accessing mental health and substance use support through community-based care needs to be a priority.
Supportive housing, a highly effective strategy that combines affordable housing with intensive coordinated services, can provide that needed assistance. Through this Housing First approach, people who are most in need will be able to access housing without high barriers placed on them. Once stabilized, they can begin to address issues like mental health, substance abuse, job training, and more.
National studies show that supportive housing not only resolves homelessness and increases housing stability, but also improves health and lowers public costs by reducing the use of publicly funded crisis services, including shelters, hospitals, psychiatric centers, jails, and prisons.
In permanent supportive housing projects nationally, an average of 85% of people remain housed after one year.
If you have questions or would like to be involved in this innovative new project, contact Taylor Clepper at email@example.com.
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