Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Dave's House / The Brain Foundation of Florida

Name of Innovative Program: 
Dave's House - Permanent Supportive Housing for Persons with Severe Mental Illness
Sponsoring Organization
Dave's House / The Brain Foundation of Florida
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Dave's House / The Brain Foundation of Florida
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead: 
ronwilensky@msn.com
Project Description: 
Dave’s Houses are quality, non-time-limited, affordable residences with support services that provide adults with serious mental illness a safe home where they can belong, have control, and maximize their opportunity for stable living in the community. A single-family home in a residential neighborhood is bought, renovated and furnished to accommodate four or more residents who are in recovery with mental illness and are able to live independently with “drop in” support.  A mental health professional visits regularly and as needed to be sure residents receive any needed assistance with taking medications, doing chores, living harmoniously, and are connected to outside supports tailored to each resident’s needs, such as comprehensive case management, psychosocial day support, psychiatric medication evaluation and treatment, day programs, life skills training, vocational training, mental health counseling, and alcohol and substance abuse services.Thoughtfully designed brand standards optimize the success of the program to ensure that the houses and support services are of the utmost quality – residences anyone would be proud to live in, conveniently located to services and shopping with privacy from neighbors, support provided with caring and excellence – enabling residents to realize their individual potential and live their best lives possible. 
Creativity and Innovation: 
Dave’s House believes that the watchword for innovatively developing permanent supportive housing options is “partnerships” – bringing together creative collaborations of funders, developers, housing management organizations and support service providers to produce critically needed supportive housing for this vulnerable population.Mental illness is a disease more common than cancer and heart disease combined.  It is a chronic illness of the brain, just like diabetes is a chronic illness of the pancreas.  People with mental illnesses are among the most vulnerable and underserved of our citizens and the largest proportion of the single adult homeless in our country. While mental illness has no cure, stability is possible with the right treatment and support, including permanent housing. Dave’s House serves as an innovative catalyst as well as a funding organization to bring together, collaborate with and nurture creative partnerships to produce the miracle of decent, safe affordable supportive housing for these individuals.
Leadership: 
The Brain Foundation of Florida (TBF) and its co-founders have worked with numerous partner organizations in creative collaborations to develop and open six Dave’s Houses to date, with a goal of producing 20 houses by 2020.  Successfully developing permanent supportive housing requires numerous and varied resources needing to be brought together and implemented through experienced direction into a unified design. Many organizations possess certain critical components of the resources needed, and TBF actively solicits and encourages the collaboration of such organizations into each Dave’s House initiative.TBF has established partnerships with oeganizations such as Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. (now Aspire Health Partners),  Hope South Florida, The Stacy Foundation, Henderson Behavioral Healthcare, and Pathway Homes, Inc.  TBF encourages and seeks partnerships with developers, government agencies, service organizations, the faith community, private individuals, for-profit businesses, and other non-profit organizations with the heart, talent, and resources to fund and/or develop housing.
Sustainability: 
The major capital expenses of purchasing the properties are funded through targeted foundation, corporate and individual fund raising by TBF  and/or public or private grants.  Our affordable housing model is designed to break-even and be self-sustaining after the initial investment based on the following:·      The house is mortgage-free and tax-free.·      Ongoing utility and maintenance expenses are covered by an affordable rent paid by residents.·      Mental health case management services are billed to the appropriate government agency.·      A pre-funded reserve is part of the initial investment.TBF continues to build capacity towards its goal of 20 houses by 2020 through developing strong and successful partnerships.  For example, TBF is currently seeking to replicate an additional second Dave’s House in the Broward County, Florida area through its four organization partnership established in 2012 with the Stacy Foundation, Hope South Florida, and Henderson Behavioral Healthcare.
Replicability: 
The Brain Foundation of Florida is a grassroots organization that has developed a model for developing permanent supportive housing that can be replicated in any community, and the need is critical. At some point in their lives, all Dave’s House residents have been homeless living on the streets due to their illness. TBF raises funds to purchase houses, apartments, or land for development primarily through private and public grants, donations by individuals, and in-kind gifts of land or property that may be suitable for developing Dave’s Houses.  They then seek out qualified mental healthcare organizations that provide support services. TBF will either gift residences to qualified providers of care who will own and operate the residences, or retain the property and contract for services. TBF develops suitable properties depending on the needs of partnering mental healthcare providers and their clients, available housing stock in the area, and local ordinances.
Results/Outcomes: 
The overall goal of supportive housing, and indicators of success, is to enhance recovery in three key areas:  Residential Stability, Increased Income and Skills, and Self-Determination.  These are measured both quantifiably and anecdotally.Residential Stabilitya.     Rates of psychiatric re-hospitalization for program residents will remain below 25% during each year.(The general population of severely mentally ill persons is re-hospitalized at rates of 40% to 60%.)b.    At least 80% of residents will remain stable in permanent housing each year. Increased Income and Skillsc.     Anecdotal information on any improvements in income through work opportunities, newly acquired vocational skills or demonstrated life skills.Self-Determinationd.     100% of any new program residents, with assistance from program staff, will actively participate in: 1) developing their own individualized service plan within one month of entering the program, 2) a quarterly review of that plan, and 3) formulating house rules and responsibilities, as appropriate.    
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