Department of Mental Health Announces Housing Initiative

September 26, 2014 (Jackson, MS) – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) a Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant for the implementation of the Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery initiative.

The Department received notification in September that the agency has been selected by SAMHSA to receive $1,189,391 for the first year of implementation of the Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery (MH4R) initiative. The initiative will address housing and support service needs of persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness with substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery is designed to increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for individuals who are chronically homeless. This will be accomplished by combining the provision of resources and services while supporting the dissemination of best practices statewide and incorporating recovery at every level of service. Because this grant is jointly funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the project will be co-directed by Mark Stovall, Director of DMH Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services, and Trisha Hinson, Director of DMH Community Living.

“What this means for DMH is the opportunity to expand and enhance programs and services that are already proving to be effective in supporting individuals to enable them to live successfully in the community,” Hinson said.

With a start-up date of October 1, 2014, MH4R will be implemented over a three year period. During that time frame, a total of 297 individuals are expected to be enrolled and served, with outreach services provided to as many as 500 individuals.

Included in MH4R is a commitment from five housing service providers in the state of approximately 109 housing slots per year, for a total of 327 housing slots.

MH4R will expand or enhance a number of best-practice models that are already in use in the Department of Mental Health, including Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT).

PACT is an individual-centered, recovery-oriented behavioral service delivery model for facilitating community living, psychological rehabilitation and recovery for individuals who have the most severe and persistent mental illness that jeopardizes their ability to have housing stability.