The movement accelerated further in mid ‘70s with Supplemental Security Income.   SSI is federally funded by taxes and is not associated with or to be confused with Social Security.

Additionally, Doctors embraced a new type of medication to treat psychological disorders.  Psychotropic drugs alter brain function which results in changes in mood or perception.

Basically, these three factors that when combined, created the conditions for a perfect storm of deinstitutionalization.

Influences:

  1. Move toward a community mental health services
  2. Use of psychotropic drugs lead to less/infrequent hospitalization
  3. Shifting costs from state to federal budgets

Since its beginnings in 1971, PSA has been committed to meeting the needs of those in the community by offering supportive services and outreach.  Ten years later and as a direct result of deinstitutionalization, PSA began providing 24-hour residential treatment to adults with mental illness.  In 1983, the program was modified from the 24-hour program model to a semi-supervised living treatment model with services provided in scattered site apartments in central Phoenix.  In 1987, the semi-supervised model was offered in Tempe.  By 1990, PSA identified a need for low-income housing and responded by purchasing an apartment complex.

The Morten Project began in 2002.  As a collaboration with the Regional Behavioral Health Authority and Maricopa County Adult Probation, PSA is the partner that provides housing, clinical co-occurring treatments and intensive supportive living services for participants who are on probation. The program assists participants to successfully maintain their housing and to reduce the need for emergency behavioral health services and to lessen involvement in the criminal justice system.

Also in 2002, PSA opened two community living houses and added five more within the next five years.

In 2014, PSA received 100 slots to provide Permanent Supportive Housing Service in an independent living setting.  Program Manager Gus Bustamante proudly reports that in about two and one-half years, the PSHS division has a full complement of 250 units. “I have a combined team of 12 in Phoenix and Tempe,”   credits Bustamante, “Who are just incredibly hardworking.  They’re in the field every day and they’re the primary reason for the success of the program.”   He continues, “PSHS lays a solid foundation for the participants who are ready to be independent.  We assist if needed, but primarily, we set them up for success.” 

Currently, the PSA Housing Department is comprised of three components: Supported Living (SL,) Supported Living Assertive (SLA) and Permanent Supportive Housing Services (PSHS.) 

Referrals for the SL and SLA programs are generated through MMIC.  Case managers complete an application and send it to MMIC.  In turn, MMIC sends the referrals to PSA based on availability.  Referrals for PSHS are generated by the clinical team (CM, Housing Specialist, etc.) and sent directly to PSA.
Title 19 (XIX:) program named for the Social Security Act that provides grants to states for medical assistance programs.

  SL SLA PSHS
Referral MMIC MMIC Clinical team
Requirements SMI

18 years of age

Title 19 eligible

Co-Occurring or Non-Co-Occurring

SMI

18 years of age

Title 19 eligible

Co-Occurring or Non-Co-Occurring

SMI

18 years of age

Title 19 or non-Title 19

Co-Occurring or Non-Co-Occurring

Housing Voucher

Income

Program Voluntary Voluntary Voluntary
PSA Services Provided Provided, but not dependent Provided, but not dependent
Lease Held PSA Participant Lease n/a  - voucher
Residence Apartment model House model Apartment model
Housemate Assigned Assigned or chosen Single
Length Temporary, transitional Can be permanent Can be permanent

Terms Used:

  • Co-occurring: synonym for dual disorders –i.e. substance/alcohol abuse and mental health disorder
  • Deinstitutionalize: to discharge from a mental hospital
  • MMIC: Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care
  • SL: Supported Living (affordable housing that includes flexible, voluntary support services to help persons stay housed and build skills to live independently)
  • SLA: Supported Living Assertive (same as SL, but incorporates a team to provide hands-on assistance including crisis intervention, medication monitoring, medical care, social support, everyday living needs, etc.)

PSHS: Permanent Supportive Housing Services (program that helps eligible people find a permanent home and receive behavioral health services if and when the person wants such assistance)

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