204214 Evaluation of demonstration programs targeting services to chronically homeless adults with disabilities

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:24 PM

Karen R. Stewart, MSPH , Westat, Rockville, MD
William Frey, PhD , Westat, Rockville, MD
Mustafa Karakus, PhD , Westat, Rockville, MD
Marion McCoy, PhD , Westat, Rockville, MD
Lynn Elinson, PhD , Westat, Rockville, MD
Martha Beemer Palan, MS , Westat, Rockville, MD
Bibi Gollapudi , Westat, Rockville, MD
This evaluation examines demonstration programs throughout the United States providing services to people with disabilities who are chronically homeless. The programs were funded by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment (DOL-ODEP) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant required that programs be available to adults meeting HUD's definition of chronic homelessness, who have a disability and also have a desire for competitive employment. Most, though not all, program participants had a psychiatric disability. The programs used the model of a three legged stool with mental health/substance abuse services, housing, and employment services as the three legs of the stool. The three service elements were provided concurrently from the day of enrollment. The challenges of the program were to keep these elements balanced and coordinated for each participant. This required new working partnerships starting with the federal partnership of DOL and HUD and going down to local agencies and private service providers. Dismissing the idea that mental health and substance abuse progress were prerequisites for employment, these programs viewed employment as a component of recovery rather than a result of recovery. The independent evaluation of these programs, conducted by Westat, examined the plans each community developed to provide the comprehensive services, the partnerships that were developed, the nature and extent of systems change, and the nature and extent of the impact of the programs on the people with disabilities who participated.

Learning Objectives:
Design a plan for community partnerships to provide comprehensive mental health, housing, and employment services to chronically homeless adults with psychiatric disabilies.

Keywords: Homelessness, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in this evaluation and was an author on the final report to the client (DOL-ODEP).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.