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 for homeless people has been advocated as an approach for improving service delivery to this population. 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 interorganizational relationships. This study compared Veterans Affairs/non-Veterans Affairs interagency relationships at VA facilities supporting community-oriented programs (N=72), at VA facilities supporting on-site internally focused homeless programs (N=10), and at facilities with no specialized homeless programs (N=47). 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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