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Cover5SAN ANTONIO – State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon (HD120 – San Antonio) congratulates Haven for Hope, and all its collaborative partners in San Antonio and Bexar County, on the award of a $3.58 million grant just announced by the Department of State Health Services. She said, “I am overjoyed about the successful outcomes that Haven for Hope has brought to our community since it began in 2007!”

The 2007 pilot program was created in state law, H.B. 2524 (authored by Rep. McClendon), to address jail overcrowding by diverting persons with mental illness or substance abuse problems to inpatient programs. Private donations supplemented state funds to carry out the efforts between local law enforcement and medical and mental health providers.

She continued, “It is becoming more and more evident that placing persons in jail who need help mainly to recover from substance abuse and mental health issues is something we need to address more carefully on a statewide basis.” Local law enforcement officials and judges across the state have seen close at hand that detention in jail does not resolve the need some persons have for medical or social service assistance; this also places a strain on law enforcement and court facilities, treatment costs, and time. Appropriate placements for these needs range from hospital or inpatient beds to outpatient services that focus more on positive outcomes than on process documentation.

“The Center for Health Care Services is proud to partner with the Haven for Hope to provide innovative programs that help people regain their footing in society,” said Leon Evans, President of CHCS. He continued, “Since 2010, CHCS has helped over 1700 people transition from Prospects Courtyard to recovery programs at Haven for Hope, starting their journey from homelessness to productive independence. The DSHS grant will help us expand our reach into the community and provide assistance to those struggling with substance abuse issues or mental health challenges.”

The $3.58 million grant awarded to Haven for Hope (San Antonio) will help with centralized intake; provide permanent supportive housing; increase aftercare supports, including connections to faith communities and spiritual support; increase peer support in service delivery from outreach, intake, and case management through aftercare and discharge; and increase coordination and services for the re-entry population. The 2013 state budget bill allocated $25 million for fiscal years 2014-15 for the Department of State Health Services to award five “healthy community collaborative grants” to establish or expand this type of community-private partnerships to alleviate mental health and homelessness.