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Behavioral Health Services

New Housing Program to Support Veterans, Families and Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

12:55 PM

Bernalillo County, NM- For some people who are experiencing homelessness, being placed in housing (known as “Scattered Site”) that is separate from supportive services simply does not work. That’s why Bernalillo County is set to rollout a new housing program utilizing the Single-Site Supportive Housing model. This creates a community and network of services alongside housing to better serve individuals and their family members who need additional, nearby support. Approximately 40-60 housing units will be available with on-site support services to include case manage. Up to 30 of the Housing Vouchers will be for Veterans and will be provided by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD].

The Single-Site Housing plan will serve veterans, individuals, and their family members with significant behavioral health challenges who are homeless or precariously housed. It’s designed to promote family reunification, stability and recovery.

“Housing is one of the very first steps towards stability, it literally provides a stable home base. Being able to recover in the place you call home, having access to services in a place where you feel safe and being surrounded by your loved ones, all of these characteristics of a single-site housing program contribute to recovery, success, and wellness,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.

County Manager Julie Morgas Baca echoed the significance of this project, “I know our Commissioners are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to vote on this project, because this is Bernalillo County stepping-up our housing program to include our veterans. It is important to provide a variety of housing programs to accommodate the varying needs of our community. With the launch of this program we’ll be filling a void, reducing homelessness, improving quality of life, reuniting families, and better serving our veterans.”

As is the case with all the Behavioral Health Initiative programs, best-practices and evidence-based data were utilized to prioritize this program. Studies have shown that greater time spent in a single- site is associated with reduced use of services that are publicly funded and improved health outcomes. Research also suggests that populations with higher levels of need have better outcomes in single-site facilities where more services are provided on site and support is built into the structure of their living environment.

This program proposal will go before the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Governing Commission and the Bernalillo County Commission for a vote with a request to fund the program for $1 M/yr and a one-time, capital investment of up to $8 M to secure, build, or remodel the campus location.

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