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Permanent supportive housing training held in Iowa

Publication Date: Mar 04, 2020


Editors' Note: This story ran in our March newsletter, published March 4.


Dr. Bill Baerentzen, serious mental illness program lead for the Mid-America MHTTC, spent Jan. 29-30 training 18 Iowa professionals to become Permanent Supportive Housing Fidelity Assessors.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publishes an evidence-based practice (EBP) called Permanent Supportive Housing. This practice is designed to help persons with serious mental illness and extensive homelessness find and keep housing.


Programs that are well-implemented have much better outcomes than programs with poor implementation. SAMHSA provides a Permanent Supportive Housing Fidelity Assessment that measures adherence to the practice. Programs with high fidelity to the model have much better outcomes than programs with low fidelity.


The two-day training in Des Moines is part of a multi-year initiative in which our Center is committed to providing training and consultation to prepare the Iowa workforce and mental health systems implement Permanent Supportive Housing, reach fidelity to the model and build statewide capacity to maintain high-fidelity housing services across the state. The newly trained Permanent Supportive Housing Fidelity Assessors will assess adherence to the model in existing programs, and the findings will serve as foundation for ongoing training and technical assistance. 


The initiative came as the result of discussions between the Mid-America MHTTC and the Quality Service, Delivery and Assessment (QSDA) Committee of the Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Committee.