Serving street dwelling individuals with psychiatric disabilities

David L. Shern


This study tested a psychiatric rehabilitation approach for organizing and delivering services to street dwelling persons with severe mental illness. Compared with persons in standard treatment, members of the experimental group were more likely to attend a day program , had less difficulty in meeting their basic needs, spent less time on the streets, and spent more time in community housing. They showed greater improvement in life satisfaction and experienced a greater reduction in psychiatric symptoms.This study finds that with an appropriate service model, it is possible to engage disaffiliated populations, expand their use of human services, and improve their housing conditions, quality of life, and mental health status.

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