Homeless Outreach Services
Park Center’s Homeless Outreach Services has served the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, particularly those with mental illness and co-occurring disorders, since 2006. Estimates show that approximately 45% of Nashville’s homeless population have a mental illness, and these individuals are among the most vulnerable in our community.
Homeless Outreach Services consists of two components – Street Outreach and SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access and Recovery). Park Center’s SOAR Coordinators work with individuals residing in Davidson County who are experiencing chronic homelessness and have a severe and persistent mental illness where symptoms limit the individual’s ability to maintain substantial gainful activity through employment (as determined by the Social Security Administration).
- Street Outreach assists individuals in obtaining social security cards, birth certificates, identification cards, clothing, case management, medication assistance, transportation and housing.
- SOAR Outreach works to increase access to SSI/SSDI disability benefits for individuals by guiding them through the Social Security Application process.
- Street Psychiatry - In July 2014, Park Center entered into a partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to provide street psychiatry to individuals experiencing homelessness. Each week, a Vanderbilt physician and two residents accompany a Homeless Outreach staff member to non-traditional settings (the streets, parks, homeless camps, etc.) to provide mental status exams, medication management, therapy and attend to other medical needs as appropriate to individuals who otherwise would not seek treatment in a hospital.
- Services for Veterans - In January 2015, Park Center was awarded the Tennessee Collaborative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant from the Metro Homelessness Commission. This collaborative effort between Park Center and Mental Health Cooperative provides housing assistance and access to treatment and case management services to individuals with mental illness, substance use or co-occurring disorders, with an emphasis on veterans experiencing homelessness.
Park Center’s Homeless Outreach Services is well established and has demonstrated a high level of success assisting individuals with the SSI/SSDI application process and connecting individuals to critical services in the community. Since its inception, Park Center has successfully connected over 644 individuals with disability benefits, an important first step to recovery, employment and housing. Park Center shows a success rate of 98% upon initial application for disability benefits compared to the national average of 37%.
Who is Eligible?
- Individuals must meet the definition of chronic homelessness (defined as one full year of living on the streets or in shelters, or four episodes of homelessness in the past three years)
- Must live in Davidson County
- For adults with a diagnosis of severe and persistent mental illness
- Cannot have an SSI/SSDI case currently pending
How To Apply
A completed referral form is required. To complete the online Referral Form, click here.