In 2021, Dave’s House created the SMI Coalition, a Central Florida community coalition to end homelessness for men and women with serious mental illness (SMI). Its purpose is to centralize the coordination of SMI services in Central Florida.

In Central Florida’s Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, over 2,000 people are homeless. Nearly 20% of these people have SMI.

This proactive alliance of local government agencies alongside homeless services and behavioral healthcare providers, we will develop innovative service and awareness programs as well as advocate legislation.

First Steps

Together, participating groups will:

  • Identify facilities for expansion to transitional and permanent supportive housing
  • Create community awareness of access to services and resources
  • Expand feasibility infrastructure: funding, partner resources, development needs

Outcomes

  • To identify localities of current service delivery, neighborhoods in highest need of services
  • To improve access to quality services
  • To streamline services and develop partnerships that capitalize on partner agency strengths and avoid unneeded duplicity of services
  • To serve as a partner resource for SMI service delivery
  • To provide a unified community voice for homeless individuals with SMI

Dave’s House

Through advocacy efforts, housing development and the provision of ongoing recovery services, Dave’s House is creating a clear path to permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with SMI in Central Florida. The non-profit serves as a catalyst for community initiatives focused on serving men and women with SMI who are homeless, at-risk of being homeless or in sub-standard housing.

Our Code of Care establishes the Dave’s House permanent supportive housing model’s best practices, quality criteria, care standards and community resources. We partner with behavioral healthcare and other providers who adhere to these standards.

We envision Central Florida leading the nation in ending homelessness for men and women with SMI, helping these vulnerable individuals escape homelessness and begin their journey toward stability, recovery and success.

Background

In 2020, Dave’s House reassessed its service model, with the goal to provide a clear path of progression for men and women with SMI from homelessness to transitional supportive housing to permanent supportive housing.

We created formal documentation for our permanent supportive housing Code of Care. This Code details the minimum standards, measurable outcomes and development process of the Dave’s House model of quality permanent supportive housing that provides an environment of success for residents to live in recovery.

Dave’s House conducted a Central Florida Community Assessment of SMI services for individuals who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. Analysis revealed that several critical elements of a solid community foundation of SMI support were lacking:

  • A centralized resource roster of SMI-focused providers serving the homeless
  • A SMI-specific advocate network
  • Low barrier housing, especially for those with co-occuring disabilities
  • SMI-specific support services

To meet the community’s need for a cohesive and unified focus on SMI services and housing, Dave’s House shifted to long-term planning for the expansion of permanent supportive housing in Central Florida and additional cities through SMI Community HUBS in order to:

  • Reach more homeless people with SMI on the frontlines
  • To maximize partnerships

To join the SMI Coalition / Further Info
Ellen O’Connor
Email | 407-457-1282