New program to stabilize individuals with mental illness

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A new housing program looks to stabilize individuals with mental illness.

Salt Lake City and the Volunteers of America partnered up to launch the Assertive Community Treatment Housing Program Monday.

The city and VOA believe in this effort to help those who are not classified as “chronically homeless” find affordable sustainable housing.

“The ACT program is exactly the program the city is looking for because it allows us to maximize city dollars while increasing outcomes,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. 

The ACT team provides treatments to those living with mental illness. Many of the folks in the program have found themselves homeless.

Salt Lake City gave the VOA ACT program $112,000 to help 30 people who can’t apply for Section 8 Housing and have a difficult time finding affordable housing.

“Service providers will be able to fill a gap in their treatment. Now individuals in this program cannot only get the counseling they need but they can get the housing assistance as well,” said the mayor.

Kathy Bray, the CEO of Volunteers of America says, “It’s assertive in the way that we don’t give up on people, we keep trying, and do whatever we can to approach people in a way that will eliminate barriers and help them move towards health and self-reliance.”

A recent 2018 study by Aetna Health states the ACT Program lowered costs for behavioral health services while lowering emergency room visits and people being institutionalized, as well as disruptions from patients within the program.

The new funding will create opportunities for those who need it the most. 

“You know that people have to apply for multiple apartments now they have money, we have money to support them in that endeavor,” said Bray.

The VOA hopes to have the program up and running fully in the fall of 2019. 

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