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Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

Delaware's Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) Formula Grant program is administered by the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH), and is an integral part of Delaware's comprehensive community-based system of care for adults with mental illness.,

The PATH Program has been funded for 18 years. In 2007, Connections CSP, Inc. successfully won a competitive bid process to operate Delaware's re-designed PATH program as the statewide service provider.

The PATH Program focuses on primary outreach services to homeless persons with serious mental illness or co-occurring disorders with the aim of engaging them and linking them with the mainstream treatment and support services. Persons enrolled in the PATH Program are provided counseling, psychiatric treatment, healthcare, housing, economic services, and the clients will be linked to an appropriate program in the community mental health system for ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, and support.

A key component of Connections' PATH outreach strategy is its operation of walk-in clinics for homeless persons in Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown where all homeless persons are able to obtain physical and behavioral health assessment, initial treatment, and case-managed referral to follow-up services. Through its walk-in clinics and direct outreach to shelters, meal centers, and public places the PATH Program will enroll at least 650 homeless persons per year with mental health conditions.

The PATH Program complements and coordinates with the services provided through the Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) and the Community Continuum of Care Programs (CCCP). The provider ensures that all persons enrolled have made application for income supports and affordable housing opportunities for which they are eligible, maximizing the use of mainstream resources to end homelessness, as quickly as possible.

When the program was redesigned in 2007, the Division anticipated serving a total of 600 people annually. In fact, The Connections operated PATH program served 893 unduplicated persons between July 1, 2007 and June 31, 2008, with more than 2,000 clinic visits.

An additional feature of the PATH Program is the PATH Homeless Transitional Housing Program which was added as an enhanced feature to the project starting in 2007. The PATH Homeless Transitional Housing Program provides safe and supportive living arrangements for homeless persons with severe mental health conditions who are not affiliated with a community provider of long-term services such as a CCCP or a group home. The (6) housing units are collocated with existing supervised apartment programs operated by Connections, CSP Inc. to achieve the most safe and therapeutic environment in the most cost-effective manner. The PATH program served 17 people in the Homeless Transitional Housing Program between July 1, 2007 and June 31, 2008.

Recently the Delaware PATH Program was recognized by the PATH National Technical Assistance Center as a finalist for the 2008 PATH Exemplary Practices Recognition Award under the category of Innovative & Transformative Practice. The Division, in conjunction with Connections CSP Inc., will continue to build on the solid foundation the PATH Program has established. It is our belief that the PATH program has been a vital resource in the fight to end chronic homelessness in Delaware.