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    Serious Mental Illness among People who are Unsheltered in Los Angeles

    California Policy Lab

    Year: 2022

    To better understand the prevalence of psychotic spectrum disorders (“PSD”) among those who are unsheltered, the California Policy Lab (CPL) linked homeless outreach service records found in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to service records at the LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the LA County Department of Health Services (DHS). We used the linked data to estimate the number of people who are enrolled in a street outreach program and who had a service visit for serious mental illness (“SMI”) in the five years prior to their street outreach enrollment. We then stratified this group into two distinct groups: those with service visits with a diagnosis of PSD and those with service visits with a diagnosis of a serious mental illness without psychotic symptoms (“Other SMI”). We analyzed these data to show how many people in these groups were enrolled in interim or permanent housing within one year of their enrollment in street outreach services, and we break down interim and permanent housing enrollments by race and ethnicity. Our analysis also shows how many street outreach participants did not have service records for PSD or Other SMI within the five years prior to enrolling in street outreach.

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