Strategic Action Plan on Homelessness. Help eligible, homeless individuals and families receive health and social services


Strategy 2.1    Strengthen outreach and engagement activities

Examples of Activities:

  • Encourage mainstream programs that support outreach and case management to identify individuals and families experiencing homelessness as potentially eligible candidates for these services.
  • Identify and promote innovative outreach and engagement activities successfully operating in existing programs, such as mobile health clinics, outreach workers who function as case managers, and innovative clinic-based programs that operate through the Health Care for the Homeless Program and the PATH program. 
  • Support empirical studies and demonstration projects that develop and test the effectiveness of outreach and engagement strategies for various populations.

Strategy 2.2    Improve the eligibility review process

Examples of Activities:

  • Develop tools for providers that simplify or streamline the eligibility review process, similar to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded publication entitled Documenting Disability: Simple Strategies for Medical Providers, which provides a partnership tool for the Social Security Administrations Homeless Outreach Projects and Evaluation (HOPE) program, focused on assisting eligible, chronically homeless individuals in applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  
  • Promote the inclusion of homeless assistance programs among the entities conducting eligibility and enrollment functions for mainstream programs.

Strategy 2.3    Explore ways to maintain program eligibility

Examples of Activities:

  • Explore state practices related to policies designed to suspend, rather than terminate, Medicaid eligibility for individuals who are institutionalized so that the eligibility process does not need to be initiated over again upon release.

Strategy 2.4    Examine the operation of HHS programs, particularly mainstream programs that serve both homeless and non-homeless persons, to improve the provision of services to persons experiencing homelessness

Examples of Activities:

  • Inventory mainstream HHS programs, identifying barriers to access for persons experiencing homelessness, and propose strategies to reduce and eliminate these barriers to services. 
  • Identify regulatory barriers and other challenges faced by states as they implement their Homeless Policy Academy state action plans to increase access to mainstream resources.

Strategy 2.5    Foster coordination across HHS to address the multiple problems of individuals and families experiencing homelessness

Examples of Activities:

  • Continue to use the regularly scheduled meetings of the Secretarys Work Group on Ending Chronic Homelessness as a means to promote collaboration and coordination across the Department and develop joint activities and approaches to addressing various aspects of homelessness.
  • Work with HHS program agencies to ensure that the Departments disaster planning efforts address the special needs of the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations affected by disasters.  Where feasible and appropriate in HHS programs, identify ways to mitigate the long-term impact of homelessness as a result of disasters.
  • Develop initiatives which can enable NIH research to be linked to pilot projects and programs within HHS to establish the effectiveness of such projects and programs and expand the evidence-base on what works.

Strategy 2.6    Explore opportunities with federal partners to develop joint initiatives related to homelessness, including chronic homelessness and homelessness as a result of a disaster

Examples of Activities:

  • Promote joint initiatives through interagency cooperative agreements, pooled funding for special projects or evaluations of mutual interest or benefit. 
  • Jointly develop policy or program guidance to assure consistency with other Departments policies and statutory and programmatic definitions, and/or consider joint issuance of key policy or programmatic guidance, especially where such issuance has the potential of having a significant impact on another Departments clients and/or grantees.

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