424 E. Commercial
The homeless have become a growing concern in American society. The Missouri Association for Social Welfare (1988 task force, 2002 news release) reported an estimated 45,700 homeless people in Missouri. This report also noted that approximately 20-25% of these homeless people are seriously mentally ill. To compound these figures, an estimated 40% of the population also have substance abuse problems. Not only did this task force cite numbers of homeless mentally ill, but also formulated specific recommendations, including case management, as a necessary tool for assisting the homeless mentally ill.
Recognizing the significant needs of this population, Transitions, a division of Burrell Behavioral Health Center, developed and supports the Homeless Services Program to assist the homeless mentally ill in Springfield, Missouri. Since traditional mental health services are not always appropriate for the homeless mentally ill, outreach case managers have been hired to work out of a well-known homeless shelter, The Missouri Hotel. The case management team consists of a program coordinator and two-bachelor level outreach case specialists.
The Homeless Services office outreach center is located adjacent to The Missouri Hotel at 424-426 E. Commercial 269-0441. Our outreach center averages 63 individual daily contacts, and opens 157 cases on a annual basis.
Services for the homeless and mentally ill are provided through the PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) grant and collaboration.
“It does not require mental health expertise to know that security and stability of environment promote stability of mind. Many of the homeless’ fears and unusual behaviors must be first understood as reactions to conditions few or none of us could bear.
Meeting basic needs is essentially a political question, one of social justice, whereas the provision of services commonly becomes a technical or administrative problem. The domain of mental health practice cannot be restricted to the later: decades of research has demonstrated intimate relationships between poor social environments and mental instability. Mental health service providers cannot be expected to compensate for elemental scarcities in resources, but they can join a growing constituency in organized efforts to challenge the official priorities that have created homelessness and that continue to service its ranks.”
The Homeless Mentally Ill H. Richard Lomb, MD. (Editor) (Washington, D.C. APA 1984)