Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals
The Alachua County Department of Community Support Services, working in partnership with Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. and other key community partners, implemented the Alachua County Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) program as part of our ongoing commitment to increase service capacity for our area's homeless populations, particularly for those who are most vulnerable.
CABHI expands our local capacity to provide comprehensive, evidence-based treatment and services for adult individuals, unaccompanied youth and families who are experiencing homelessness in conjunction with their own or a family memeber's mental illness, substance use or co-occurring disorders. Through an evidence-based Care Coordination model, a multidisciplinary team offers comprehensive permanent housing, treatment, benefits assistance and other recovery supports based on each person's strengths, choice and needs. The primary objectives of this collaborative, community-based program are to increase housing tenure, support continued treatment gains, and, as a result, promote positive recovery outcomes for the individuals and families receiving services.
The program prioritizes immediate permanent housing for all individuals and families who are experiencing chronic homelessness (generally defined by SAMHSA as 12 months or more) and either have, or have one or more family members who have, the following: substance use disorders (SUDs); serious mental illness (SMI); serious emotional disturbance (SED); or co-occuring mental and substance use disorders (COD). Permanent housing is also a priority for all veterans with these disorders who experience either homelessness or chronic homelessness. Additionally, young people and families who are experiencing one of these disorders and are homeless, but not chronically, also receive assistance with permanent housing, at a minimum through linkage to Alachua County's Continuum of Care (COC) Coordinated Entry system. Based on a modified Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model, the multidisciplinary team works collaboratively to secure housing for participants, as well as provide and coordinate treatment, peer support, benefits counseling, supportive employment, primary care and other recovery services.
To meet the individual needs and preferences of participants, the program integrates other evidence-based practices into services, such as Motivational Interviewing for consumer engagement and Seeking Safety, for individuals with a history of trauma and substance abuse.