Housing Catalyst received a grant from the BHS Impact Fund Grant Program to fund a Behavioral Heath Clinician (BHC) to provide therapeutic services for residents living in Permanent Supportive Housing. The clinician supports the stability and behavioral health of 120 formerly homeless residents by providing crisis intervention, individual and group therapy, case management, and coordinating aftercare with medical providers.
According to Carri Ratazzi, Director of Resident Services, “The first step to healing is housing but it’s only the beginning for most of our residents. Having an onsite clinician is instrumental in retaining housing for this population’s complex and acute mental health and substance use. The onsite clinician partners with community case management and service providers to provide consistent and confidential care. The relationships built with community partners allow our residents to easily access other supportive services based on referrals and clinical recommendations.”
As residents identify areas of concern or barriers to successfully transitioning into their new home, PSH staff can connect them with the Behavioral Health Clinician. The BHC assesses, makes recommendations, and coordinates care with the case management team, mental health, and medical providers, and others in support of resident needs.
Brenna Rush, LCSW, LAC, the Behavioral Health Clinician servicing this project shares her approach to the work she does with residents. She says, “When professionals let go of their agenda and timeline, real connection and work can happen. Our residents are the experts of their stories, and I am simply a minor supportive character. Most of my work is building rapport and genuine relationships with our residents with the hope that they feel seen, important, supported, and worthy of taking a risk on themselves to make a change. When they are ready to heal and reach for their goals I will be there to help and walk beside them, but it is their story to write. Beautiful healing is happening here, and it is an honor to be invited to bear witness to it.”