WestCare California, Inc. seeks to increase capacity of services, permanent housing, linkages to evidence-based mental health and substance abuse treatment services, supportive services, intensive case management and linkages to other supportive services, to 300 individuals in Fresno County who have, or are currently experiencing homelessness, and have a substance abuse disorder (SUD) and/or co-occurring mental and substance use disorder (COD).
Using the Housing First model, WestCare (WCCA) will partner and contract with the Fresno Housing Authority (FHA), Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC), and the Workforce Development Board (Workforce Development) to provide: 1) linkage to behavioral health and other recovery-oriented services; 2) coordination of housing and services that enhance the long-term sustainability of integrated community systems providing permanent housing and supportive services to the target populations; and 3) outreach, engagement and connection of clients who experience SUDs or CODs to enrollment resources for health insurance, Medi-Cal and mainstream benefit programs. By assisting clients’ entry and continued residence in permanent housing, WCCA will expand the community infrastructure to provide permanent housing and treatment for underlying substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Project Name: Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness
Population Served: The population of focus is primarily male/female adults, families and youth who are or have experienced chronic homelessness in Fresno County, California, who have a substance use disorder (SUD) and/or a co-occurring disorder (COD). This includes but is not limited to veterans, and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The homeless population suffers a variety of ailments and health risks at rates consistently higher, and in some cases dramatically higher, than the housed. Homelessness and Health: What is the Connection, published by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council in June 2011, showed homeless individuals had alcohol dependence (11% vs. 2%), and severe mental illness (25% vs. 12%) when compared to their housed counterparts.
Project Goals/Measurable Objectives The goals of this program are to 1) Strengthen behavioral health care for individuals and their family members experiencing homelessness; 2) Improve coordination of housing services for homeless individuals and their family members who are experiencing SUD or COD; and 3) Engage and connect individuals and their family members who experience SUDs or CODs to enrollment resources for health insurance, Medi-Cal, TANF, and mainstream benefits programs. WCCA anticipates serving 60 clients/year or 300 over the lifetime of the grant.
Strategies/Interventions: WCCA will use Coordinated Entry and Housing First models to connect with and serve the target populations, and utilize trauma-informed, gender-responsive Evidence-Based Practices to meet the Program’s Goals and Objectives: Motivational Interviewing, VI-SPDAT, Nat. Outreach Guidelines.