SAMHSA Homeless Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within HHS provides funding for several programs that provide services to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

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The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 Budget Proposal included $74 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Homeless Services and $65 million for Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH). These funding levels represent level funding from the FY 2014 enacted levels.

On Tuesday, June 10, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, which sets funding levels for the SAMHSA Homeless Services and PATH programs, among others, marked up its FY 2015 funding bill for programs under its jurisdiction, including all programs within HHS. However, the full text of the bill, including the funding levels for the SAMHSA Homeless Services and PATH programs, was never released. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on HHS did not release nor mark up an FY 2015 appropriations bill.

Since Congress was not able to finalize FY 2015 funding for federal programs (including HHS programs), via the regular appropriations process in time for the start of the fiscal year, a continuing resolution (CR), or stopgap funding measure, was passed to fund the government at FY 2014 levels through December 11. At this point, Congress will either need to pass an omnibus spending bill finalizing FY 2015 funding for federal programs, including SAMHSA Homeless Services and PATH, or pass another short- or long-term CR to keep government programs funded at current levels ($74 million for SAMHSA Homeless Services and $65 million for PATH).

About SAMHSA Homeless Programs
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Homeless Services programs provide case management and other supportive services — such as outreach, mental health services, substance use counseling, and health care — linked to housing. These integrated programs are highly effective and cost-efficient. From 2007 to 2013, the number of chronically homelessness individuals decreased by approximately 25 percent nationwide. SAMHSA investments have played a role in this decrease.

The largest obstacle for many communities to continue making progress toward ending homelessness is funding for service delivery that fully integrates behavioral and physical health care interventions. An increase in resources for integrated behavioral health services is needed to overcome barriers to accessing mainstream programs, such as Medicaid, welfare, and general substance abuse and mental health services. SAMHSA’s financial support of services in these environments is a critical step on the road to ending homelessness.

Spotlight

Library Resources

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Federal Policy Brief | March 7, 2014
This one-pager provides background information on SAMHSA's Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program. It also explains the Alliance's recommendation that in FY 2015 the PATH program receive at least $75 million in appropriations.