For those battling mental health or substance use disorder, having access to safe and affordable housing is a key factor in the recovery process. Scioto works with providers to provide quality housing solutions for these vulnerable populations – helping residents to rebuild and maintain independence, daily routines, and self-confidence in community-based settings.
According to research, when people who live with mental illness get to choose where they want to live, they’re more likely to have a job, social support systems and a higher quality of life than those who live in a space that doesn’t meet their needs.
Here are some factors to consider for caregivers exploring housing solutions for loved ones with substance abuse or mental health issues:
- Choice: Having a choice in where they live, as well as who they live with, has been shown to improve recovery for those struggling with mental illness.
- Stability: Stability in a housing situation translates to a place where you can stay as long as needed. Even in the best of circumstances, a move can be disruptive and unsettling, often having a negative impact on wellness. People who move frequently are constantly having to adapt to new routines and support networks. Being able to stay put can be a big help along the path to recovery.
- Cost: For those living with a mental illness, holding a steady job is difficult. An affordable housing situation dictates that housing costs (rent or mortgage, plus utilities) should total no more than 30% of your income before taxes. Access to affordable housing means you can pay for housing and still afford other basic needs like food.
- Support: Ideally, people should be able to access their preferred support network even after a move to a new housing situation. For that reason, it’s important to seek out situations where supports aren’t tied to housing.
Take a look at some of the major housing solutions for people in these types of situations. Here’s a list of options:
- Licensed Community Care Homes: Offering 24-hour, live-in care and support services, this type of housing is usually a short-term solution designed for a transition between the hospital and a longer-term housing arrangement. While living in these licensed facilities, residents are developing the skills and networks they’ll need to move into supported housing.
- Supported Housing: This is where residents have access to support services from outside organizations (which means you can access the same services even if you move). Supported housing arrangements include group homes, apartment buildings, and other housing types.
- Semi-Independent Living Home: In what could be considered in between supported housing and independent living, semi-independent living residents may get the opportunity to learn valuable skills to increase their independence while still having access to needed support services.
- Subsidized Housing: The price of housing may also be an issue you need to consider. In this scenario, another party, such as the government, a nonprofit organization or a housing cooperative, covers a portion of housing costs. Often, rent is based on income and assistance is meant to help cover the gap between what you can afford to pay and the housing cost.
Finding the right home can be tough and considering these factors and options is a great way to start.