MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES BOSTON AWARDED $2.4 MILLION FROM SAMHSA TO INCREASE ACCESS TO HOUSING AND RECOVERY SUPPORT SERVICES
Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) has been awarded to help Bostonians receive housing, treatment and recovery support services
BOSTON - Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has received a $2.4 million federal award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support Boston's continued work in ending chronic and veteran homelessness. The grant will serve 270 chronically homeless individuals by further increasing the City's capacity to house and provide treatment for homeless individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
Boston's funds from the $2.4 million SAMHSA grant will be distributed between the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Pine Street Inn.
"To best set up our residents for success with housing, we have a multi-faceted support system in place and provide them with the wraparound services necessary to get on their feet and stay on their feet," said Mayor Walsh. "Since 2014, the City of Boston has housed over 1,100 chronically homeless individuals and veterans, and thanks to SAMHSA and our partner the Pine Street Inn, I'm proud to say that we will be able to put a roof over the heads of another 270 chronically homeless individuals."
This grant will support the Boston Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) project during a three-year period. The funds will provide 270 chronically homeless individuals and homeless veterans with permanent housing; the behavioral health and other supports they need to stay in their new homes; and will improve their health and well-being through increasing access to employment, benefits and peer support. Participants will engage with a Citywide network of service providers, while the grant builds the capacity of the existing citywide infrastructure to achieve the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Boston.
"Pine Street Inn is thrilled to be one of the recipients of the SAMHSA grant," said Pine Street Inn President & Executive Director Lyndia Downie. "We know that working in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Housing Authority, we will be able to provide critical support to those dealing with homelessness, mental illness and addiction, helping them to rebuild their lives."
Through the participation of the Boston Housing Authority, participants in the CABHI initiative will be provided housing through a mix of public housing slots and mobile vouchers for subsidized housing. In addition, participants will receive intensive case management and will be connected to employment assistance, benefits assistance and behavioral health treatment, as well as to access to medical and other services. Taken together, this pairing of subsidized housing and supportive services, known as "permanent supportive housing," is one of the fundamental solutions outlined in Boston's Way Home, the City's plan to end veteran and chronic homelessness in Boston by 2018.
The grant awarded to Boston is part of a $121 million nationwide award from SAMHSA to provide treatment and services for mental and substance use disorders. The grants will be administered as part of SAMHSA's Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, which aims to increase access to permanent housing for people with mental and/or substance use disorders and their families.
"By bringing resources to organizations on the front lines of homelessness, we are giving communities the opportunity to change lives," said Dr. Kimberly Johnson, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA.
In January 2016, Mayor Walsh announced Boston had ended chronic veteran homelessness; to date, nearly 850 homeless veterans have been housed. In 2016, the City scaled up its efforts to end chronic homelessness; since January of 2016, 391 chronically homeless individuals have been housed representing 2,300 years of homelessness ended.
Boston's Way Home has redesigned the way Boston offers services to homeless individuals. Rather than counting on shelter as the solution to the issue, Boston has moved toward a housing-first model, where an individual's entrance into the shelter system is also their entrance to a path toward permanent, stable housing. Through investments in housing, technology and system redesign, Boston is on track to meet its goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2018.
Today's announcement supports the initiatives of Imagine Boston 2030, Boston's Citywide plan, which will guide growth to support our dynamic economy and expand opportunity for all. The plan supports both the housing, and health and safety goals of the plan by providing wraparound services for people in need of housing and recovery services. To learn more, visit imagine.boston.gov.
About the Boston Public Health Commission
The Boston Public Health Commission, the country's oldest health department, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston.
Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission - to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Recovery Services; and Emergency Medical Services.
About Boston Housing Authority (BHA)
Boston Housing Authority (BHA) provides affordable housing to more than 58,000 residents in and around the City of Boston. Residents are assisted through a combination of public housing and federal and state voucher subsidy programs that provide a wide variety of housing opportunities. As the largest public housing authority in New England, the BHA houses close to 9 percent of the city's residents.
Our mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.
About Pine Street Inn (PSI)
Founded in 1969 as an emergency shelter, Pine Street Inn began creating permanent housing with on-site support staff for homeless men and women in 1984. Today, Pine Street operates 41 housing locations with over 950 tenants throughout Greater Boston. Reaching more than 1,900 individuals daily, Pine Street provides permanent housing, job training, emergency shelter and street outreach, with a goal to help men and women reach their highest level of independence.