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Services for Homeless Persons with Mental Illness: Comments and Strategies for Allegheny County

Zinno, Elizabeth (2007) Services for Homeless Persons with Mental Illness: Comments and Strategies for Allegheny County. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis describes and assesses existing services for homeless persons with mental illness and suggests improvements. The topic of services for homeless persons with mental illness is of public health significance since the problem has been getting worse in the past few years, with people unable or unwilling to access appropriate services Mental illness in the homeless population is looked at from a social-ecological perspective, including individual, community and policy levels. Current national programs are discussed including Medicaid, SSI, HUD, SAMHSA and ACT. The McKinney Act is discussed as one of the most important pieces of homeless policy. A more in-depth discussion of Allegheny County community capacity and services for homeless persons with mental illness is included. Housing First/Harm reduction, Operation Safety Net, Community Human Services Corporation, Health Care for the Homeless, Mental Health Courts and Police Training are discussed. Key informant interviews reveal frustrations with funding streams, lack of affordable housing and lack of appropriate job opportunities, specific to Allegheny County. An extension of this thesis to include focus groups and interviews with homeless individuals and shelter staff would reveal a more comprehensive view of homeless persons with mental illness. Suggestions for improvements in providing mental health services include, following the housing first/harm reduction model, improving quality of life through increased social supports of this population, advocacy of homeless persons with mental illness, an increase of funding streams that promote collaboration among community agencies, more street outreach for the chronic homeless population and overall more collaboration among different agencies in Allegheny County including, government, social services, education, police and emergency services.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJaros, Kennethkjaros@pitt.eduKJAROS
Committee MemberGreeno, Catherinegreenocg@upmc.eduKGREENO
Committee MemberKeane, Christophercrkcity@pitt.eduCRKCITY
Date: 27 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 19 July 2007
Approval Date: 27 September 2007
Submission Date: 30 July 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: homeless; mental health
Other ID:, etd-07302007-130257
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:36


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