Many people experiencing homelessness benefit from interventions that package housing (rental) assistance with case management and other wraparound supportive services. Programs that could fund such wraparound services can include HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs including Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness (TIEH), and Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (GBHI). Other programs in this space include Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Healthcare for the Homeless, both administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). There are, however, many additional federal programs that can serve people experiencing homelessness even if they are not specifically targeted to this population.

The following information and strategies provide an overview of federal health programs and resources that communities and housing providers can leverage to provide supportive services to help people experiencing homelessness transition to and sustain their housing.

In addition to housing assistance, people experiencing homelessness may need and benefit from supportive services. For many, that can simply mean finding and connecting to services that are available in the community, such as childcare, employment training, a community health center, or behavioral health care. Depending upon the needs of a household, this can sometimes be accomplished by providing information or making a referral. In other cases, more assistance may be needed to help people connect to these services. Service approaches like Critical Time Intervention are a more structured approach to connecting households to community-based services.
A subset of people experiencing homelessness, however, have complex challenges- disabling and chronic health conditions, serious mental illnesses (SMI), or substance use disorders (SUD)-and may need more intensive support that accompanies their housing. For this subset, evidence-based approaches like Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) that package or bundle housing assistance with wraparound case management and other supportive services can be effective at stabilizing health and housing needs.
Obtaining CoC grant funding for a Permanent Supportive Housing project or linking Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to a case management team are two common ways to create permanent supportive housing by linkage or bundling housing and supportive services. One of the best examples is the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, in which special housing choice vouchers are provided by HUD to public housing authorities (PHAs) who are required to work with local U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Centers who are funded to provide case management.
Beyond CoC and HUD-VASH, there are additional federal programs that can cover housing-related supportive services and other approaches to funding and providing these housing-related wraparound supportive services to make affordable housing “supportive.”

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