Strategic Action Plan on Homelessness. Recent HHS Publications Relevant to Homelessness


National Symposium on Homelessness Research  (ASPE & HUD)
This project will oversee the commissioning of a series of synthesis papers, the organization of a symposium to present and discuss the papers, and the production of a final report featuring the papers commissioned for the project.  The findings presented through this project will serve to guide federal and state policymaking, to assist local practitioners in incorporating successful strategies into their programs, and to assist researchers to identify areas meriting future research.  The final report, which will consist of a collection of 12 research papers, will be available in the summer of 2007.

Evaluation of Housing Approaches for Persons with Serious Mental Illnesses  (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA sponsored a project to identify models of housing for adults with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse disorders that may reduce homelessness and institutionalization and promote community living.  The study evaluated a cross-site evaluation on six sites using a common data collection protocol and site-specific evaluations, with the goal of developing a supportive housing tool kit.  The Supportive Housing Implementation Resource Kit is under development and will be piloted in 2007.

Evaluation of Chronic Homelessness Policy Academies  (SAMHSA & HRSA)
HRSA is partnering with SAMHSA/CMHS to co-fund an evaluation of the Chronic Homelessness Policy Academies, a multi-year project that was funded by HHS, HUD, VA, and DOL.  The Homeless Policy Academies were designed to offer states an opportunity to bring together a team of policy-makers, providers, and program leaders to spend three days working on a strategic action plan to increase access to mainstream services for people experiencing chronic homelessness.  Both a process evaluation and an outcome evaluation will document the process, assess the effectiveness of the Academies, and identify lessons learned from the Policy Academy activity for the 49 states and territories who attended a chronic homeless Academy.  Final evaluation report is due in late 2007.

Evaluation of the Health Care for the Homeless/Community Mental Health Center Collaboration Project  (ASPE & SAMHSA)
ASPE and SAMHSA have supported a 3-year evaluation of a collaboration between Health Care for the Homeless programs and community mental health agencies. 12 grantees were selected with the goal of increasing the availability of mental health and primary care services for homeless persons with serious mental illnesses and explore new approaches to the provision of comprehensive integrated treatment to these consumers.  Grants ended in 2005, and a draft evaluation report is currently under development and expected in 2007.

Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children  (ASPE)
Recognizing that data on homeless families is not as robust as data available on single adults, this project aims to identify opportunities and strategies to improve data about homeless families upon which future policy and program decisions may be based by investigating the availability of data with which to construct a typology of homeless families.  A typology could foster a better understanding of these families characteristics, service needs, interactions with human services systems, and the dynamics of their use of emergency shelter and other services and assistance.  The final report from this project will be available in the Spring of 2007.

Promising Strategies to End Youth Homelessness  (ACF)
The Family and Youth Services Bureau within ACF, in consultation with the USICH, is conducting a study of "promising strategies to end youth homelessness" which responds to statutory requirements.  The study will identify and assess a wide range of practices that show promise or carry evidence of effectiveness in helping young people find appropriate living situations, including those youth who have suffered from systemic failures, such as when child welfare and juvenile justice programs have been incapable of providing effective transitions to adult independence for youth in their care.  Runaway and homeless youth served by FYSB are served in emergency situations and cases where returning home is not an option.  The study is anticipated to be released in 2007.   

Homeless Families Program  (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA funded a multi-site study of the effectiveness of services provided to homeless women and their children.  Approximately 1600 women and their families received services under this program.  The project was designed to document and evaluate the effectiveness of time-limited, intensive intervention strategies for providing treatment, housing, support, and family preservation services to homeless mothers with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders who are caring for their dependent children.  The study design involved a five-year, cross-site data collection and analysis program involving eight study sites.  The project was begun in September of 1999 and data collection was concluded in September of 2006.  A series of articles that report the study findings will be published in the Journal of Community Psychology in 2007.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for Homeless, Runaway, and Thrown Away Youth  (SAMHSA)
This project will examine the range of programs currently offering services to the population and determining the extent to which these programs adhere to best practices approaches.  A total of 491 organizations operating 780 programs have been identified, and data on these programs will be compiled in a national directory of agencies providing services that will be web accessible.

Evaluation of the Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness  (ASPE)
ASPE is partnering with HUD and the VA to support an evaluation of the Collaborative Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness, a unique grant program funding 11 sites to develop a comprehensive and integrated community strategy to assist chronically homeless persons to move into stable housing and access a range of support services.  Grant funding from HHS, VA, and HUD provides permanent housing, substance abuse and mental health services, primary care services, and case management services for enrolled clients.  Evaluation will examine both client and system-level outcomes, with data collection concluding in March 2007.  A final report will be available in 2009.

An Evaluation of the Respite Pilot Initiative  (HRSA)
In May 2000, HRSA funded ten Health Care for the Homeless grantees, for up to five years, to enhance their medical respite services for homeless persons.  HRSA also supported a prospective evaluation to 1) document the differing models of respite care delivery being used, and 2) assess the effect of those respite services on the health of homeless persons.  A common database was developed to collect client-level data from each of the pilot projects.  These results will enable the HCH Program to determine the efficacy of respite services and in what configuration they are most appropriate.  Final report was published in March 2006 and is available at:

The DASIS Report: Homeless Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment: 2004 (SAMHSA)
A short report based on the SAMHSAs Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS), the primary source of national data on substance abuse treatment. According to SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), more than 175,300 admissions to substance abuse treatment in 2004 were homeless at time of admission. The admissions who were homeless comprised 13% of all admissions for which living arrangements were recorded; an increase from 10% TEDS admissions reported to be homeless in 2000.  Report is available at:

Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Homeless Patients with HIV/AIDS Pocket Guidebook  (HRSA)
This condensed pocket guidebook on adapting clinical guidelines for homeless clients with HIV/AIDS was a project of the HIV/AIDS Bureau Homelessness and Housing Workgroup in revising the original manual, Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Homeless Patients with HIV/AIDS (2003), developed by the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Clinicians Network.  The authors were comprised of health and social service providers experienced in the care of homeless individuals with HIV/AIDS.  This Advisory Committee developed recommendations of adaptations to clinical practice guidelines for homeless clients with HIV/AIDS.  The desired purpose of this pocket handbook is to be utilized as a quick and essential resource tool for clinicians, peer workers, and social service providers in hopes that they will routinely adapt their services and foster better outcomes for homeless clients.  The pocket guide was adopted in August 2006, and is available at:

Evaluability Assessment of Discharge Planning to Prevent Homelessness  (ASPE)
Purpose of this study was to conduct an evaluability assessment of discharge planning in institutional and custodial settings, with a specific focus on whether discharge planning is a strategy that can prevent homelessness.  Project included a literature review on discharge planning, the use of an expert panel, documentary analysis of selected exemplary programs, and site visits to exemplary programs.  Final report published September 2005 and available at:

Using Medicaid to Support Working Age Adults with Serious Mental Illness in the Community: A Handbook  (ASPE)
The purpose of this primer is to describe the Medicaid program in the delivery of services to adults with serious mental illnesses; specifically, the primer explains how existing Medicaid options and waivers are used by states to finance a broad range of community services and supports for adults with serious mental illnesses, and to demonstrate what aspects of state-of-the-art community services and supports for this population are funded by Medicaid.  The primer was published in 2005 and is available at:

Stepping Stones to Recovery: A Case Managers Manual for Assisting Adults Who Are Homeless, with Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Applications (SAMHSA)
Individuals who are homeless and have mental illnesses often face overwhelming challenges in obtaining disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).  A complex application system, confusion over eligibility criteria, and lack of a fixed address can all create seemingly insurmountable hurdles.  This manual was designed to assist case managers and other professionals in obtaining critical services for their clients.  The report was published in 2005 and is available at:

Improving Medicaid Access for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness: State Examples  (CMS)
This technical assistance report developed in 2004 is designed to highlight several state initiatives that increase Medicaid access for people who are chronically homeless.  Report available at:

The DASIS Report: Characteristics of Homeless Female Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment: 2002  (SAMHSA)
A short report based on the SAMHSAs Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS), the primary source of national data on substance abuse treatment. The data in this report is from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 2002 Supplemental Data Set on living arrangements of people admitted for substance abuse treatment.  Report available at:

How States Can Use SAMHSA Block Grants to Support Services for People Who Are Homeless  (SAMHSA)
The Mental Health Block Grant provides funds to States to create comprehensive, community-based systems of mental health care. This report highlights efforts of many States to use Federal Block Grant funds for mental health and substance abuse services to provide more effective care for people who are homeless.

Blueprint for Change: Ending Chronic Homelessness for Persons with Serious Mental Illnesses and/or Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders  (SAMHSA)
This report was developed to disseminate state-of-the-art information about ending homelessness for people who have mental or addictive disorders.  The Blueprint offers practical advice for how to plan, organize, and sustain a comprehensive, integrated system of care designed to end homelessness.

Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America  (SAMHSA)
In 2002, the President announced the creation of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and charged the Commission to study the mental health service delivery system, and to make recommendations that would enable adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbance to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.  Achieving the Promise is the final report of the New Freedom Commission.

Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Homeless Patients with HIV/AIDS  (HRSA)
A clinical guidebook written by clinicians with extensive experience caring for individuals who are homeless and who routinely adapt their medical practice to foster better outcomes for these patients.  This adaptation of clinical practice guidelines for homeless patients was developed by the Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians Network with support from the HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Guidebook published in 2003.  Report is available at:

Core Performance Indicators for Homeless-Serving Programs Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  (ASPE)
This report explores the feasibility of developing a core set of performance measures across four HHS programs that focus on service delivery to homeless persons. The report also explores the extent to which mainstream service-delivery programs supported by HHS, i.e., those not specifically targeted to homelessness, could generate performance measures on the extent to which homeless persons are served and with what effect.

Ending Chronic Homelessness: Strategies for Action  (HHS)
This document was developed in 2003 by the HHS Secretarys Work Group on Ending Chronic Homelessness to outline a series of goal and strategies that would align the Departments effort towards the goal of ending chronic homelessness.

1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients:  A Comparison of Faith-Based and Secular Non-Profit Programs  (ASPE)
This study examines data from NSHAPC to determine more thoroughly the role that faith-based programs play in the larger context of homeless assistance. The study has an explicit focus on comparing homeless assistance programs administered by faith-based versus secular non-profit service agencies. It provides a basic but comprehensive picture of the numbers and characteristics of the two types of homeless assistance programs.

Housing is Health Care:  A Guide to Implementing the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Ryan White CARE Act Housing Policy  (HRSA)
The main purpose of the Guidebook is to provide guidance on funding of housing-related costs under the CARE Act.  The Guide focuses on implementation of HAB Policy 99-02, as issued in 1999 by the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, which administers the CARE Act.  The publication was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau, with John Snow, Inc. and AIDS Housing of Washington.  The guidebook was published in 2001 and can be found at:

National Institutes of Health
The NIH supports a wide range of studies involving homeless populations because of associations between homelessness and many adverse health conditions.  In FY 2005, NIH is supporting more than 65 investigator-initiated studies with a primary focus on homelessness.  These studies are concentrated primarily in five institutes: the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute on Child Health and Development (NICHD), and the National Institute on Nursing Research (NINR).  Research projects funded via an NIH grant are traditionally published in scientific journals.  A full list of funded research can be found by searching

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