We are helping Montana communities develop permanent supportive housing projects for people who are homeless and frequently need emergency services. Supportive housing is unique because, in addition to providing housing, it also offers on-site services such as tenancy support, employment assistance, and medical and behavioral health care. These additional services help people address the issues that may have led 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 2021, implementation projects provided supportive housing units for 28 people in Missoula, Great Falls, and Bozeman.
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.