Links for most items in the Housing section appear on the "List of Housing Links" page, which is accessible from Related Links.
Community Mental Health Centers
Community mental health centers use a variety of strategies to develop housing options for individuals with serious mental illness.
Some focus on actual housing development by employing regional housing developers, others focus on housing access by administering their own set-aside programs for rental assistance or through collaborative arrangements with local public housing agencies, others operate more intensive supportive housing programs.
Use the "Community Mental Health Centers" link in the left navigation bar for more information.
Olmstead Housing Initiative
This program is through a partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation. The goal of this initiative is to address a pressing need for housing for people who are currently in or at risk of entering institutions such as psychiatric hospitals or personal care homes, or who have a history of frequent institutionalization.
By moving individuals from institutional settings to living independently in the community of their choice, Kentucky can better serve this population and implement the mandates of the Olmstead decision.
Assistance may include rental assistance, one-time security or utility deposit assistance, furnishings, and moving expenses. Persons served under the Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) receive a priority for rental assistance. Referrals for this program are through the community mental health centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and other department-contracted service providers.
Other Department-Contracted Housing Organizations
- New Beginnings Bluegrass. Provides supported housing services in Lexington/Fayette County to individuals with serious mental illness who are transitioning from an institutional setting to integrated community housing, or who are at risk for institutionalization. This includes linking clients to services and activities of their choosing, accessing subsidies, locating suitable housing, negotiating leases, acquiring household items, moving the individual into the residence, and teaching basic life skills and other skills that strengthen recovery and promote community integration.
- Wellspring. Provides supported housing services in Louisville/Jefferson County to individuals with serious mental illness who are transitioning from an institutional setting to integrated community housing, or who are at risk for institutionalization. This includes linking clients to services and activities of their choosing, accessing subsidies, locating suitable housing, negotiating leases, acquiring household items, moving the individual into the residence, and teaching basic life skills and other skills that strengthen recovery and promote community integration.
Links for items in the Homelessness section appear on the "List of Housing Links" page, which is accessible from Related Links.
Projects for Assistance in Transitioning from Homelessness (PATH) Program
The PATH Program provides federal funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to serve individuals with serious mental illness, who may have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder, and who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.
PATH funds are used to provide a menu of allowable services, including street outreach, case management, and services that are not supported by mainstream mental health programs.
Cooperative Agreement for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (CABHI) Program
This three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration seeks to enhance the infrastructure of treatment service systems, increase capacity, increase the number of individuals placed in permanent housing and enrolled in Medicaid and other mainstream benefits, and provide evidence-based treatment services, permanent supportive housing, peer supports, and other recovery support services to:
- Individuals who experience chronic homelessness and have substance use disorders, serious mental illnesses (SMI), or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
- Veterans who experience homelessness/chronic homelessness and have substance use disorders, SMI, or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
Grant funds are contracted to Centerstone KY, Bluegrass.org, NorthKey Community Care, and Welcome House Northern Kentucky to provide evidenced-based practices such as Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); Assertive Community Treatment; SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) services; and assistance in gaining access to housing using Housing First principles.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) Program
The SOAR program is designed to increase access to Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI), for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
For people who are homeless or who are returning to the community from institutions (jails, prisons or hospitals), access to these programs can be extremely challenging. Approval on initial application for people who are homeless and who have no one to assist them is about 10-15 percent. For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process is even more difficult, yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery.
The SOAR Online Course is free and features video interviews, medical records, and progress notes to train case managers on completing an SSI/SSDI application for a fictional applicant. The SOAR TA Center reviews all application packets and returns them to course participants with valuable feedback and tips.
Some communities have local SOAR initiatives. Getting involved locally can be a great way to connect with others who are doing similar work. For more information on local initiatives, please contact the SOAR State Team Lead for Kentucky using the contact information at the upper right of this page.
Homeless Prevention Project
This project originated as an attempt to address institutional discharge into homelessness. A survey of Louisville shelters showed that 77.5 percent of persons in the shelters had an institutional background.
The project offers institutional discharge planning to persons with mental illness who are exiting state-operated or -supervised institutions, including the prison system and foster care programs.
The project has both an urban and a rural component, with the urban component served by Volunteers of America in Louisville and the rural component served by The Adanta Group in south-central Kentucky. Coalition for the Homeless Louisville coordinates the program.
The goal of the project is to assist potentially homeless persons who are exiting state institutions for return or reentry into the community, and to offer information about any necessary linkage of the person to needed community services and supports. These include employment, medical and mental health services, housing, education, social supports and other community-based services, thereby decreasing the number of persons discharged from state-operated institutions into homelessness.
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