Monday, July 24, 2017

SAMHSA Awards KDADS Grant to Continue Work on Homelessness, Mental Illness

Press Release

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Behavioral Health Commission has been awarded a $1.7 million grant to continue its work with homeless individuals experiencing mental illness. The grant is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), under the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Kansas,” said KDADS Secretary Tim Keck. “Our agency is committed to the development of effective ways to address homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse, and this program allows us to do that at the grass-roots level.”

SAMHSA has designated Kansas as a Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) state. The purpose of the CABHI-Kansas program is to strengthen state infrastructure and treatment systems to provide coordinated treatment, recovery support and permanent supported housing to individuals who experience chronic homelessness and to veterans who experience homelessness/chronic homelessness with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

CABHI-Kansas is taking a “Housing First” approach to connecting homeless individuals with permanent housing without preconditions such as sobriety, substance use treatment or other participation requirements. Earlier this year, the program conducted Housing First training for community health centers as well as mental health and substance treatment centers in conjunction with the University of Kansas. The Housing First model is used by all the CABHI-KS team. It is an alternative to the traditional approach in which homeless individuals are required to first participate in and complete short-term residential and treatment programs before obtaining permanent housing.

The CABHI-Kansas teams utilize evidence-based practices to provide the best services and outcomes for the clients they serve. The model also incorporates a rapid job search that is available for any individual who is looking for a job, regardless of their work history or treatment status. It is the mission of the employment teams to connect individuals with behavioral health needs to steady employment that can assist them in their path to recovery.

“Our CABHI Kansas teams in year one served more than 300 individuals in three counties, Shawnee, Wyandotte, and Sedgwick,” said Korrie Snell, CABHI Coordinator for KDADS. “Working with substance abuse providers Heartland RADAC and the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas (SACK), CABHI-Kansas has linked 135 chronically homeless individuals to permanent supported housing.”

Additionally, more than 50 individuals have obtained employment through the CABHI Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment program.

KDADS Housing, Employment, and Benefits Program Manager Melissa Bogart-Starkey said, “This grant allows CABHI-Kansas teams to continue to provide services for chronically homeless individuals in need. We see positive outcomes every day.”

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