People with serious mental illness are disproportionately affected by homelessness. The consequences of homelessness tend to be more severe when coupled with mental illness. People with mental illnesses remain homeless for longer periods of time and have less contact with family and friends. They encounter more barriers to employment and tend to be in poorer health than other homeless people.
Research indicates that a stable and supported living environment is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of people with serious mental illness and is integral to their recovery. Housing with support can generate positive outcomes, including enhanced life skills, improved health status, an increased sense of empowerment and involvement in the community. Research shows that maintaining and improving the housing of individuals with serious mental illness can contribute to a reduction in psychiatric symptoms and therefore decrease the need for emergency and treatment services.