Philadelphia, United States
Addressing Behavioral Health and Housing Challenges
The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) has implemented a multi-faceted approach to house vulnerable citizens and increase health through Housing First, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), and master leasing.
The Housing First approach affirms that the basic need for a place to live must be met before people can address other challenges, including those that lead to homelessness such as behavioral health conditions. The city partnered with the Philadelphia Housing Authority to dedicate 200 housing vouchers a year between 2009 and 2013.
DBHIDS provided linkage to tenant services coordination (liaison between landlord and tenant), case management, peer support, and mobile psychiatric rehabilitation. DBHIDS created bridge subsidies to support individuals in independent housing until permanent vouchers were assigned.
After evaluating unmet needs in the city, a partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing addressed high utilizing individuals from the homeless/ behavioral health/ criminal justice systems. Individuals identified through data matches were given support and opportunities to participate in housing subsidies to reduce recidivism.
A first approach in master lease housing was initiated to house individuals on the same day they were being released from incarceration.