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Medicaid and Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals: Emerging Practices from the Field

Martha Burt, Carol Wilkins, Gretchen Locke; Abt Associates


October 10, 2014
Permanent supportive housing (PSH) offers subsidized housing for formerly homeless people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. It provides flexible and individualized support services that are offered to tenants, who can participate on a voluntary basis.

When the Federal Government first committed to ending chronic homelessness in 2003, it was understood that PSH would be a big part of reaching that goal. Since then, federal and other resources have helped to add more than 140,000 PSH beds, bringing the PSH-bed total to 284,298 in January 2013.

This study explored the roles that Medicaid, Health Centers, and other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs might play in providing services for people who had experienced chronic homelessness before moving into PSH. We examined the intersection of three pieces of a complex puzzle that if assembled correctly can end chronic homelessness: (1) chronic homelessness itself; (2) permanent supportive housing; and (3) Medicaid's potential to fund health-related services for people experiencing chronic homelessness or living in PSH. Findings reported here are based on more than two years of observing developments in six communities.

Read the related report:

A Primer on Using Medicaid for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Tenants of Permanent Supportive Housing
North America