Service System Integration, Access to Services, and Housing Outcomes in a Program for Homeless Persons with Severe Mental llness

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Objectives. This study evaluated the hypothesis that greater integration and coordination between agencies within service systems is associated with greater accessibility of services and improved client housing outcomes. Methods. As part of the Access to Community Care and Effective Services and Supports program, data were obtained on baseline client characteristics, service use, and 3-month and 12-month outcomes from 1832 clients seen at 18 sites during the first year of program operation. Data on interorganizational relationships were obtained from structured interviews with key informants from relevant organizations in each community (n 32-82 at each site). Results. Complete follow-up data were obtained from 1340 clients (73%). After control for baseline characteristics, service system integration was associated with superior housing outcomes at 12 months, and this relationship was mediated through greater access to housing agencies. Conclusions. Service system integration is related to improved access to housing services and better housing outcomes among homeless people with mental illness.

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American Journal of Public Health, v. 88, issue 11, p. 1610-1615