What is Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing is a community-based service model that provides housing integrated with mental health services, primary health care, alcohol and drug services, case management and social services to help homeless people living with mental illness gain stability, and live more productive lives.

Supportive housing programs are used throughout the United States as a way to solve the dual challenges of homelessness and mental illness.

Supportive housing consists of two main components: permanent housing and mental health and social services.

In the San Diego region, the County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services Division (BHS) is partnering with service providers and housing developers to address the dual stigmas of homelessness and mental illness. This partnership recognizes that Housing Matters, because housing in combination with mental health and social services can break the cycle of homelessness. Home is where recovery begins.

The County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services Division (BHS) partners with service providers and housing developers to provide supportive housing opportunities for homeless individuals with mental disabilities. If you or someone you know needs housing and suffers from a mental illness, please refer to our list of Housing Resources.

How does it work?

Supportive housing units are generally integrated in new affordable housing developments. San Diego County Behavioral Health Services Division (BHS) works with developers and community partners to make a small percentage of the units available to qualified participants in Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs and to provide them with mental health services, case management, recovery services, educational programs, employment opportunities or training, and social services.

Participants hold their own leases and contribute to their rents, and are subject to the same rules and regulations as all other tenants.

What is mental illness?

A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychiatric condition that afflicts children, youth, adults and older adults. The conditions are often debilitating and may cause distress and/or disability and is not a part of normal development or culture.

What is recovery?

Recovery Innovations of California (RICA) defines recovery as remembering who you are and using your strengths to become all that you were meant to be. RICA helps people discover the pathways to RECOVERY—Hope, Choice, Empowerment, Recovery Environment, Meaning and Purpose—and how to use them to feel better about themselves and develop their own plan for wellness.