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Adult and Child Health awarded $3.2 million grant to assist homeless with mental illness

Adult and Child Health awarded $3.2 million grant to assist homeless with mental illness

Adult and Child Health, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, has announced it has received a $3.2 million grant to serve homeless adults with severe and persistent mental illness who are high utilizers of the Marion County Jail, local hospitals, emergency rooms and psychiatric facilities.

The grant, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides roughly $650,000 per year for each of the five years. Adult and Child Health will use the funds to provide Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), an evidence-based practice that improves outcomes for people with severe mental illness who are at risk of psychiatric crisis and involvement in the criminal justice system.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) has been a critical partner in supporting A&C Health’s development of this program and is adding additional funding to the program to assure programmatic goals are met. As one of the oldest and most widely researched evidence-based practices for people with severe mental illness, ACT is a multidisciplinary team approach that combines behavioral health and addictions treatment with assertive outreach to persons in the community. This project is unique, in that, it proactively braids supported housing units into the project to quickly house participants and engage them with a mix of mental health, primary care, employment and other supportive services. This marriage of safe, affordable, housing and community-based services will help to break the cycle of homelessness, psychiatric hospitalization and arrest.

The grant provides Adult and Child Health with about $650,000 per year for five years. (Submitted photo)

Adult and Child was assisted by multiple community stakeholders and partners in developing the ACT proposal. In addition to CICF, planning and program development partners include the city of Indianapolis, the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and the IUPUI School of Psychology. Launched on April 30, the ACT program will empower persons in Marion County experiencing serious mental illness, substance use and homelessness to stabilize their lives, gain affordable housing, sustain gainful employment and better manage their illnesses.

“Thank you to the dozens of people who worked hard to bring this opportunity to the Indianapolis area,” said Dan Arens, COO of Adult and Child Health “We’re excited to see the positive impact we believe we’ll see on the lives of those we serve. This project presents a life-changing opportunity for some of our community’s most marginalized people.” A&C CEO Allen Brown noted, “This project intensifies the services we’re able to offer high-risk persons out living in the streets. Adding supportive housing to round-the-clock, mobile psychiatric services will get us closer to the goal of zero homelessness. We’re confident this is the right approach and grateful to CICF and SAMHSA for their support.”

Adult and Child Health, accredited by the Joint Commission, is a nonprofit primary care, behavioral health and social services provider in central Indiana. Its contact information is as follows: Adult and Child Health, 222 E. Ohio St., Ste. 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 893-0252.

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