There’s no easy answer

People who oppose programs, such as AOT (assisted outpatient treatment) and ACT (assertive community treatment), claim that “coercive approaches” do not work and Housing First and other “voluntary” programs are the answer. But Housing First does not work for everyone either according to a recent news article.

In the first year of an $8 million 60-unit Housing First project, one-third of the initial 74 residents did not stay (4 died and 14 left). The site produced more than 250 police calls in 12 months, including 40 in May 2017. According to one resident, there is”a major drug and alcohol problem in the building.”

The funding model, based upon Medicaid reimbursements, was not enough to provide property management and enough support services for mentally ill residents and those struggling with substance abuse.

The point is – there is no single program that works for everyone. All options should be on the table, including AOT.