The Journal of Mental Health, an international peer-reviewed journal, recently published the results of a five-year project at Places for People to provide specialized substance use and mental health services to more than 300 people who were experiencing homelessness, alcohol use disorders, and often co-occurring mental health disorders.
The results of the study appear in the article, “Improving outcomes for homeless people with alcohol disorders: a multi-program community-based approach,” which shows that participation in either Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) or Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) was associated with significant improvement in the lives of persons served. Participation in six months of services was associated with significant improvement in mental health, reduced substance use, improved stability in housing, increased employment, and decreased involvement in the criminal justice system.
“These results are especially noteworthy because too often public officials and our service systems do not believe in or support the recovery potential of homeless people with alcohol disorders,” said Dr. Gary Morse, Places for People’s Vice President of Research and Development. “These data strongly show that with the right, caring services, people can recover from homelessness, alcoholism, mental health, and related concerns.”
The project, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), began in October 2008 and ended in September 2013, connecting 322 people who were homeless to services.
The article is available on The Journal of Mental Health website. The hardcopy of the journal will be published later this year.