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Homelessness and Mental Illness: The Relationship Between These Two Factors, and Effective Service Model Solutions

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The purpose of this research study was to examine the intersection of the relationship between homelessness and mental illness, including other factors such as substance abuse. A secondary purpose of this study was to gain an awareness of service delivery

The purpose of this research study was to examine the intersection of the relationship between homelessness and mental illness, including other factors such as substance abuse. A secondary purpose of this study was to gain an awareness of service delivery models and associated funding streams for providing services to homeless persons with mental illness. A thorough literature review was conducted by the author in order to aid in answering these questions. The author also conducted interviews with 27 homeless and formerly homeless clients living in Denver who were receiving services through the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Finally, the author conducted 4 qualitative interviews with policy experts who worked extensively in homeless services and advocacy in the Metro-Denver area. All data was entered into an Excel workbook, and a series of graphs and tables were made to present the research results. The themes of mental illness and substance abuse were common amongst the sample population, but the most common theme was that of the lack of affordable housing available. The majority of respondents also cited involvement in the criminal justice system such as incarceration, as well as family issues as major factors in them becoming homeless. The policy experts all cited the Housing First as well as the Permanent Supportive Housing model as the most effective service delivery model for those who are both homeless and mentally-ill, and Denver is utilizing some very innovative funding streams for these service delivery models. In conclusion, the author found through both the literature review and quantitative research, that homelessness is not truly a mental illness or substance abuse issue alone, though this relationship does hold clinical importance. Homelessness is instead the result of an excessive shortage of permanent and affordable housing units across the United States.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Brave Bears Project: Using Transitional Objects for Children Experiencing Trauma

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Brave Bears was a Barrett creative project that operated under local non-profit organizations, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels and Arizona Women’s Recovery Center. Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels provides support and education for children fighting cancer and their families. Arizona Women’s Recovery

Brave Bears was a Barrett creative project that operated under local non-profit organizations, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels and Arizona Women’s Recovery Center. Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels provides support and education for children fighting cancer and their families. Arizona Women’s Recovery Center provides rehabilitation programs for women fighting substance abuse and housing for the women and their children. The Brave Bears Project was focused on helping children in these situations cope with the trauma they are experiencing. The children received a teddy bear, which is a transitional object. In addition, a clay pendant with the word, “brave” pressed into it was tied around the bear’s neck with a ribbon. A poem of explanation and encouragement was also included.<br/><br/>The teddy bear provided comfort to children experiencing emotionally distressing situations as they receive treatment for their illness or as their mom undergoes rehabilitation. This can be in the form of holding the teddy bear when they feel frightened, anxious, lonely or depressed. The “brave” pendant and poem seek to encourage them and acknowledge their trauma and ability to persevere.

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2021-05