The Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency (AACMHA) serves as the Core Service Agency, or local mental health authority, for Anne Arundel County. In this role, AACMHA manages a continuum of mental health services for Anne Arundel County residents. Included in the continuum of services are CoC-funded Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Programs for individuals who are homeless and living with severe and persistent mental illness, or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Permanent Supportive Housing is a model that combines low-barrier affordable housing, mental health care, and supportive services to help house the most vulnerable homeless persons in the County. PSH serves homeless persons and families experiencing multiple barriers to housing, most of whom are considered chronically homeless, and require supportive services to maintain housing stability.
In FY19, AACMHA operated four CoC-funded permanent supportive housing programs: Samaritan Housing Program, SHOP Program, CHES Program, and the Shelter Plus Care Program. Between the four programs, AACMHA served 58 households with 94 persons including both families and single adults. Of the 94 persons served, 74 persons are living with severe and persistent mental illness. CoC funds provide essential financial assistance to participants, including security deposits, rental subsidies and utility allowances in hopes of increasing stability and minimizing the risk for a return to homelessness. Additionally, participants receive supportive services, which are crucial to maintaining stability. Supportive services include: case management, psychiatric rehabilitation, therapy, medication management, supported employment, connection to SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR), partial hospitalization programs, crisis services, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), and connection to services for children.
For some participants, after being in the program for many years, they increase their self-sufficiency and are able to maintain stability without the support of the program – a great accomplishment for both the participants and the program. In FY19, three participants successfully transitioned out of the program to live independently within the community.