Alcohol and/or Drug Problems and Mental Illness are Key Risk Factors for Homelessness among Working-age Disabled DSHS Clients

Feb 2008 |
Online Library

Three groups of DSHS clients were examined to determine the extent to which mental illness and substance abuse disorders are associated with homelessness. We selected FY 2006 clients on our Aged, Blind, or Disabled Medicaid caseload, those receiving General Assistance Unemployable coverage, and those receiving ADATSA support. Clients with indications of a substance abuse problem—especially GA-U and ADATSA clients—were found to be at far greater risk of experiencing homelessness, compared to clients without a substance abuse problem. The risk of homelessness was highest among those with co-occurring indicators of mental illness plus the need for substance abuse treatment. The additional risk of homelessness associated with mental illness was significant, but not as great as the risk associated with substance abuse.

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