Outcomes of shelter use among homeless persons with serious mental illness
The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the use of case management services predicted public shelter use among homeless persons with serious mental illness after the termination of Access to Community Care and Effective Services and Supports (ACCESS), a five-year outreach and case management program. Results show homeless individuals with serious mental illness who were younger, were African American, had fewer years of schooling, and had longer shelter stays during the ACCESS intervention period were more likely to enter shelters in the 12 months after the ACCESS program ended. Although use of vocational and supportive services was associated with a lower probability of shelter entry, use of housing assistance was associated with a higher probability of shelter entry. The study found that the total number of case management service contacts was not significantly associated with residential outcomes. Rather, the use of specific types of services was important in reducing the use of homeless shelters. These findings suggest that case management efforts should focus on developing vocational and psychosocial rehabilitation services to reduce the risk of recurrent homelessness among persons with serious mental illness.