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BayCare Behavioral Health and Homeless Emergency Project Receive Federal Grant to Help Break the Cycle of Homelessness

Funding will help to provide housing and counseling services to address mental health and substance abuse issues

CLEARWATER, Fla., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- BayCare Behavioral Health and the Homeless Emergency Project have received a five-year grant of $400,000 for each year for a total of $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

"This grant gives us the opportunity to combine housing assistance with treatment services for mental health and substance abuse issues," said Bruce Fyfe, chairman of the board, Homeless Emergency Project. By helping our clients address their mental health and substance abuse issues, we hope to help them effectively end the cycle of chronic homelessness."

With the grant, BayCare Behavioral Health will partner with Homeless Emergency Project to provide assistance for homeless individuals and families who reside in Homeless Emergency Project housing facilities, also known as supportive housing. Together, the two organizations will develop outreach, direct treatment programs and other support services for homeless individuals and families with serious psychiatric conditions or substance abuse issues.

"We know that many people who are homeless have unmet mental health and substance abuse treatment needs," stated John Sheehan, vice president, behavioral health services, BayCare Health System. "Being homeless makes it close to impossible for someone to receive the type of consistent treatment and support needed to achieve recovery."

According to statistics from the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless, 42 percent of homeless adults have a long-term disabling condition and of those, 45 percent experience mental health issues and 29 percent deal with substance abuse.

Evidenced-based treatment and support services provided through the grant will include:

  • Supported employment and housing services
  • Daily living skills
  • Self help programs
  • Parenting skills
  • On-site mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Crisis counseling
  • Medication management
  • Coordination of care and support services

BayCare Behavioral Health and the Homeless Emergency Project will be reserving 20 percent of the program's capacity for veterans of the armed services and their families including veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Working together on this grant helps us take the services we currently provide to the homeless community to the next level," said Fyfe. "We currently partner with the BayCare Health System and BayCare Behavioral Health through Morton Plant Hospital's mental health outreach program which provides onsite services to our clients, so applying for the grant was a natural extension of that partnership."

About Homeless Emergency Project (HEP)

Homeless Emergency Project is the oldest and largest provider of emergency housing and support services in Pinellas County. Through the provision of emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing, HEP provides lasting solutions to ending homelessness in our community. As part of our mission to help the homeless, HEP operates a 300-bed facility where emergency and transitional housing is provided for the temporarily homeless as well as permanent supportive housing for mentally disabled individuals and families. Since the inception of HEP, more than 78% of clients have secured permanent and/or independent housing. On the web,

About BayCare Behavioral Health

As part of BayCare Health System, the largest community-based health system in the region, BayCare Behavioral Health is committed to clinical excellence, innovation and access to a continuum of recovery-focused therapeutic services. Care options include inpatient, outpatient and early intervention and prevention, employee and student assistance program and case management services. Convenient treatment sites are located throughout the Tampa Bay area. On the web: and follow the behavioral health link. By phone: 1-877-MyBayCare (1-877-692-2922.)


SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.

SOURCE BayCare Health System

SOURCE BayCare Health System
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