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Homelessness among persons with severe mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD) is a prominent social issue in the United States today. Not only do persons with SMI make up a significant portion of the overall homeless population, SUDs make it more difficult for them to recover successfully. Recovery among these populations is multi-faceted, and all aspects of recovery should be accounted for so that this population has the best chance to succeed. There are a number of programs in place that attempt to place persons with SMI and SUD into housing while providing treatment, including Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). PSH uses a Housing First (HF) approach, meaning that treatment and sobriety is not a requirement to get housing. The research shows that HF is largely successful in providing stable housing for these populations, but drop-out rates are still large. Programs need to accommodate for these issues by strengthening the supports already provided, or providing new and improved supports. As of now, there is not enough data to assess how COVID-19 affects the recovery of these populations. Either way, new and improved supports can foster the success of this vulnerable population.

Symposium Date

Fall 12-1-2012


homeless, mental ill, substance use, recovery, social support, United States



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Recovery Among Homeless Populations with Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

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