Charrette Notes: Mental Health and Addictions

South Central Housing Network

Region 10 Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness Charrette

Session #1, Monday, April 22

Mental Health and Addictions

RAW NOTES. Please send corrections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ervin: Concern with availability of detox services. Need sufficient space and access to detox. Need to think of private funding as well as public.

Harrell: Pressure on caseworkers to bill at agencies so if clients do not show up they are dropped PATH provides services to Shalom Center but only two workers, this is only access to services without Medicaid support. Need detox center

Bakken: Churches have banned together to offer services the volunteers are getting exhausted.  People have no access to mental health and addiction services. Need a referral network

Frustration with using services, being homeless without a car, no bus services on weekends, searching for work can’t accept positions without transportation. Wants own apartment but can’t keep job. 

Gilmore: Response to experts, impact of the reduction of Medicaid and its result in increase in addictions and jail, prisons are becoming mental health hospitals, continuous reduction in funds

Wants press to cover compassionate, intelligent response to homelessness issues

Comment on KY program: requiring people to be drug free in order to assess true personality without medication or abuse issues. What does it take to set up this kind of facility?

Byers:  issue is complicated no single action that will solve it. Many different reasons for loss of housing, all stories are different

i.e. there are multiple things we can do to Corrections, providing expansion to Medicaid. Have to think about multiple activities the community can be involved in.

Harding:  Tried to help homeless obtain housing with HPRP and VASH programs.  Problem keeping people in homes after subsidies end and damage to homes. Need more accountability.  Need to set expectations up front.

Clemmons:  What is plan to advocate with the law makers about these issues?  Decriminalization, advocacy for Medcaid? 

Martine:  Cycle of incarceration increasing presence of addictions and mental health issues,  Suggest a commission to deal with prosecutors about mental health issues

Guinn: Broad category of mental health: developmental delays are also included. People get lost in system can result in dropping out.

Law enforcement liaison to work with people or a single point of entry. Some with high intelligence have low life skills.

St.Vincent DePaul a volunteer group that reaches out to community, rather than have individuals come to them. Where are city government representatives?  Need to organize whole community to discuss issues and include Chamber of Commerce.  Need for more emphasis in a community where 1 in 4 are in poverty. 

Advocate for detox unit.  Have on-call counseling at hand in shelters. Opportunity for added treatment and assistance.

Education is a barrier: need knowledge about all services available.  All are in niche determined largely by funding streams. Took awhile to learn Bloomington’s network.  Project Hope through Centerstone started only recently with IDOC, funding for interview clothes, bus tickets etc.

Children need mental health services as well, particularly adolescents.  Federal funding is critical, and private funding could be seen as an additional tax

Lack of services in surrounding counties and transportation is an additional barrier.

Bakken:  Interfaith involves four congregations, but behind those four are another 16 churches.  Some of them don’t believe in helping addictions)  issues unless clients buy into abstinence so another 20 are backing Backstreet and Shalom Center. Only funded by members, need back-up of social service agencies for their low-barrier shelter users. 

This year there was a social worker placed at Interfaith Shelter through the Shalom Center.  Provided liaison to further contact at Shalom. Only caseworker for 65 people a night. Church workers responsible for people with them most serious life issues. Case workers not as available.

Counselor from Centerstone helped individuals by speaking with them about their lives, easier to repair a child than an adult must start early.

Martin: Interfaith Shelter has been conducted for 5 years, need 30 volunteers a night.  None are trained in Mental Health and Addictions and have multiple problems dealing with issues they are untrained to address.  Need to provide education to legal and governmental community.  Doesn’t like the common idea that the more services we provide the more homeless people will be attracted to the community.

Burn out rate for volunteers is high, need on-call therapists at the facility.

Bird:  Commend faith communities over the years for helping with the homeless. Ubuntu group is attempting to create another summer low-barrier shelter to replace Genesis.  Community should take notice of this initiative and support it by finding a place.

Parsons:  Before faith based shelters many died or had frost bite, wants to thank that group for providing help

Buehler:  Genesis Church ran the summer shelter for three years but discontinued for lack of funds and resources. Needed more volunteers at the onset, sometimes had one person at night who was paid.  That one paid person helped volunteers attitude.  With SCHN and IHCDA developed idea for Crawford Homes as a response to the problem.  Although have 40 Permanent Supportive Housing units this is still housing only half of the homeless in the area.  At the institute learned housing first is key. Offer them services. Look for ways to screen people into solutions rather than out of solutions. Need for detox center is apparent method of stabilizing people

Twitter Feed