The literature on homelessness among persons with severe mental illness suggests that successful programs for ending homelessness should be both comprehensive in scope and highly responsive to the perspectives of homeless people. Women of Hope is one such program in Philadelphia, which was initiated to serve "noncompliant," treatment-resistant homeless women with mental illness who have a history of living on the streets. Through aggressive outreach and a low-demand congregate housing program, Women of Hope has been successful in bringing 120 women of the streets. Residents are required neither to undergo treatment nor to stay in the program, but are encouraged over time to seek mental health services and medical treatment. Former residents can be found primarily in independent housing and secondarily in highly and moderately structured housing. A diverse range of housing types have been required to place residents, including use of the congregate housing program as a permanent option. Approximately 14% of the former residents have returned to living on the streets, but continue to receive outreach services.
- Safe haven,
- homeless women
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