Mental Health & Substance Abuse
The Housing First Mental Health and Substance Abuse Intervention models are designed to end homelessness and support recovery.
The Housing First Intervention model is a comprehensive community-based treatment designed to end chronic homelessness and support recovery. The model provides comprehensive community–based supports and harm reduction based treatment to persons with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses who are chronically homeless. The Housing First teams have an accountable, mobile multi-disciplinary staff that provides treatment, rehabilitation, family support, and crisis intervention 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Services are tailored to each person’s needs and are primarily provided in the person’s home or other places in the community. The intent of the model is to help persons with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses to manage their symptoms, reduce their substance use and live as autonomously and healthfully as is possible.
The Housing First model is based on the belief that housing is a basic right and emphasizes consumer choice, rehabilitation and harm reduction. The program addresses homeless individuals’ needs from a consumer perspective, encouraging them to define their own needs and goals and provides immediate housing (in the form of apartments located throughout the City of Philadelphia) without any pre-requisites for mandatory treatment or sobriety. The harm reduction approach in its clinical services addresses both the substance abuse, physical health and any psychiatric issues that may present. The treatment team recognizes that consumers can be at different stages of recovery and that interventions should be tailored to each person’s needs. Tenancy is not dependent on their adherence to clinical treatment although they must meet the obligations of a standard lease. Rent is equal to 30% of a person's income (regardless of income - 30% of 0 is 0).
The team works with program participants through housing loss, hospitalization, detox or incarceration; and helps consumers obtain/maintain housing after these episodes.