Network Coordinates Housing and Medical Services for Disabled and Chronically Ill Adults

    • June 30, 2006

From July 1995 through June 1998, the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) in Oakland, Calif., developed the Health, Housing and Integrated Services Network, which brought together more than 30 public and private nonprofit agencies. Their goal was to integrate social, health, mental health and housing services for formerly homeless adults and those with very low-incomes who also had mental illness, HIV/AIDS, other chronic illnesses and/or a history of substance abuse.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program, Building Health Systems for People With Chronic Conditions.

Key Results

  • The collaborating organizations developed 10 interdisciplinary teams that delivered primary health care, client-centered treatment for mental illness and substance abuse and other health and support services (including employment opportunities), all linked to stable, affordable housing.
  • By 1999, the interdisciplinary teams had provided services to almost 1,000 people living in more than 900 units of affordable housing in San Francisco and neighboring Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
  • In a post-grant study, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley found that residents had a 58 percent decline in emergency department use, a 57 percent reduction in hospital inpatient days and virtually no use of residential mental health care outside hospitals.
  • Policy barriers and a lack of readiness and administrative capacity among many of the organizations participating in the network prevented the project from meeting its expectation of establishing risk-adjusted capitation rates to finance managed care services through the network.