Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition (CARC)
The statewide data from the 2010 Connecticut Point-In-Time Count estimates that at any one point in time, close to 4,000 people are homeless in Connecticut and more than 33,000 people, including 13,000 children, experience homelessness over the course of a year. The chronically homeless make up about 10 percent of the homeless population. They are the most intense users of emergency shelters and services and often have chronic conditions, like mental illness, substance abuse or another chronic illness, or a physical disability, that make it difficult to stay housed or maintain employment.
CARC will lead the implementation of the Connecticut Integrated Healthcare and Housing Neighborhoods, which will build upon Connecticut’s success with supportive housing as a statewide approach to ending chronic homelessness, and will create a health home outreach model linking primary care, behavioral health care and supportive housing. Individuals identified through a data match between the State’s Medicaid administrative data and Homeless Management Information Systems will be provided with supportive housing linked to health services through a coordinated delivery system involving Federally Qualified Health Centers, local mental health agencies and other providers. Care coordination will be achieved through newly created Patient Navigator positions serving as boundary spanners across housing and health providers.
CSH has awarded CARC with an annual grant of $200,000 to identify and serve 160 of the highest cost users of crisis health services in Connecticut. The grant will fund “patient navigators” and “systems coordinators” in 5 regions of the state who will aid effective service integration and care coordination between primary health, behavioral health and supportive housing.
CSH has also created a national learning network including CARC and the other subgrantees which will:
- create unique partnerships between community health and housing systems
- engage policymakers
- build an innovative model that can be replicated, extending the benefits of the pilot programs far beyond the initial tenants.
CSH is also working with a team of researchers from New York University to conduct a rigorous national evaluation testing the impact on housing and health outcomes, as well as on public costs, including Medicaid.
“The interaction between housing instability, homelessness, and complex health conditions often results in the frequent use of costly emergency health services, like detox and emergency departments, as well as avoidable and prolonged inpatient hospitalizations. Our funded project will build upon Connecticut’s success with supportive housing as central to the statewide approach to ending chronic homelessness, and will create a health home outreach model linking primary care, behavioral healthcare and supportive housing,” says John Merz, Executive Director of The Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition.