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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

$1.9M SAMHSA Grant Awarded, Aims to End Chronic Homelessness in Lincoln

A three-year $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has been awarded to a collaboration of Lincoln agencies and University of Nebraska centers, led by Region V Systems. The goal of the project is to end chronic homelessness in Lincoln, NE. Region V Behavioral Health Systems, CenterPointe, and the Mental Health Association will team to provide housing, behavioral health treatment, and peer and employment supports to persons experiencing chronic homelessness and serious behavioral health disorders. The program will assist individuals in maximizing stability through peer supports, employment, and treatment. The project employs Permanent Supportive Housing, an evidence-based practice, and will coordinate homeless serving programs through the use of Lincoln’s All Doors Lead Home system.

“In 2015, Lincoln had an annual incidence rate of about 76 chronically homeless per year, almost all of whom had mental health and substance use disorders,” said John Turner, Region 5 Systems. “However, homelessness makes it difficult for persons to obtain the very behavioral health treatments that can help them create a more stable life. This project addresses both housing and behavioral health treatment needs, giving the consumers we serve the support they need to go from homeless to housed, with the ultimate goal of never repeating that cycle again.”

The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center is serving as the program evaluator for this project.  Center researchers will conduct a local evaluation and collaborate with a national program evaluator to support continuous process improvement through collection and analysis of program outcomes.

“The Public Policy Center evaluation will help the agencies improve the delivery of services and ultimately will articulate the project outcomes. We hope to describe the impacts of the program, the services that led to improved outcomes, disparities in services or outcomes, and the barriers to obtaining and retaining housing,” said Dr. Nancy Shank, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center on Children, Families and the Law is providing the information technology support as the Homeless Management Information System and the Homeless Coordinated Entry Lead Entity for Lincoln Continuum of Care.

This grant was one of only 30 awarded by SAMHSA through the Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals program.

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Project team includes (from left to right): Dr. Nancy Shank, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center; Dennis Hoffman, CenterPointe; Jeff Chambers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center on Children,Families, and the Law; John Turner, Region V Systems. Photo Credit: Tarik Abdel-Monem.