Expanding Service Delivery: Does it Improve Relationships among agencies serving homeless people with mental illness?

James McGuire, Robert Rosenheck and Craig Burnette

January 2002

Enhancing interagency services integration has been advocated as an approach for improving service delivery to homeless individuals with mental illness. In contrast to system-level “top-down” interventions, this study examines the association of expanded funding of client-level homeless services, a “bottom-up” approach, with strengthening of inter-organizational relationships.  The researchers compared Veterans Affairs/non-Veterans Affairs interagency relationships at VA facilities supporting community-oriented programs, at VA facilities supporting onsite internally focused homeless programs, and at facilities with no specialized homeless programs. VA facilities that supported community-oriented homeless programs enjoyed stronger VA-community agency relationships than the other two VA facility types. The study identifies an effective bottom-up resource based approach to services integration.

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