We help Montana communities develop permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless and frequently use emergency services. Supportive housing links housing with on-site services such as tenancy support, employment assistance, and medical and behavioral health care. Permanent supportive housing is a cost-effective way to improve health outcomes and address issues that may have contributed to homelessness in the first place.
Roughly 5% of patients account for 50% of health care costs. These patients’ high costs come from frequent emergency room visits and hospital stays. Some have untreated mental illnesses or substance use disorders, and regular interactions with law enforcement are also common. Often, these people are homeless or don’t have stable housing, making effective treatment and recovery more difficult. A safe place to live paired with supportive services improves health outcomes and reduces the need for high-cost emergency services.
As part of this initiative, we work at two levels:
- Policy and convening: We provide grants to support planning, data system alignment, and convening. We work with Medicaid, the Department of Housing, the state Continuum of Care, and other partners to align funding streams, optimize reimbursement, and integrate housing and health care data sets to support better planning and well-coordinated service delivery.
- Permanent supportive housing planning and development: We collaborate with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which uses their Frequent User System Engagement process to identify how high utilizers are currently using service and plan solutions focused on permanent supportive housing.
In 2022, 24 people were housed in supportive housing units in Bozeman and Missoula.
An additional 62 units are under construction in Bozeman, Missoula, and Great Falls.
We have planning grants to support housing needs assessments in 5 rural areas.
About the Opportunity
In this initiative, we are supporting a limited number of feasibility and development grants for communities interested in creating supportive housing projects. We also support technical assistance and capacity building by housing and tribal agencies, and rural planning grants. All funding under this initiative is by invitation only.
Grant recipients and contractors will:
- For development grants, applicants must, through completing a planning grant:
- Develop a coalition that includes housing agencies, hospitals, and corrections officials, with other partners to collaborate on a supportive housing plan.
- Identify a specific population of high-utilizing patients to be served by the project.
- Develop specific metrics to measure current utilization patterns and costs.
- Develop data sharing agreements to facilitate collaboration.
- For technical assistance to housing agencies:
- Identify a defined data or technical need specific to advancing supportive housing.
- A strong leadership commitment to supportive housing.