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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Improving access to mainstream health and human services: Outcomes from the federally sponsored policy academies on homelessness

Deborah L. Dennis, MA, Francine Williams, MA, and Margaret Lassiter, MA. Policy Research Associates, Inc., 345 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054, (518) 439-7415, ddennis@prainc.com

Policy academies are used in various policy arenas to bring together key stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to increase program coordination/effectiveness and design new programs to address an issue. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Labor (DOL) recently sponsored a series of policy academies to help states develop plans to improve access to mainstream health and human services for people experiencing homelessness, enhance linkages between services and housing, and develop strategies to prevent homelessness.

Since November 2001, seven policy academies have been held with 18 states/territories participating in academies focused on family homelessness, and 45 states/territories participating in academies on chronic homelessness. States submitted action plans after the academies and ongoing technical assistance is available to help states further develop and implement their plans.

Implementation of the plans is being tracked and preliminary outcome data indicates positive results in a number of areas. Examples include improved agency communication and coordination resulting in fewer access barriers for homeless people, establishment of interagency councils to address homelessness, increased political will, redirection of funding to provide housing and services and the securing of new funding, and improvements data collection and reporting. State outcomes point to successful strategies for increasing access to mainstream health, mental health, substance abuse, employment and income support programs, as well as for expanding affordable housing options and developing strategies to prevent homelessness. Lessons learned may be adapted by other states and local communities.

Learning Objectives: After this session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Access to Care, Homelessness

Related Web page: www.hrsa.gov/homeless

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Subcontractor assigned to track outcomes and provide technical assistance for the project described.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Access to and Utilization of Health and Human Services Among the Homeless

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA