Division of Behavioral Health Services

Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

Summary: This grant is funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). The grant is to provide outreach and services to persons with serious mental illness who are homeless or at immanent risk of becoming homeless, including those with co-occurring substance abuse problems. Funds are used to provide an array of services, such as screening and diagnostic services, emergency assistance, case management, and referrals to the most appropriate housing environment. Persons who are identified as homeless and having a serious mental illness are engaged in treatment and support services and efforts are made to integrate them into the Arizona Behavioral Health system.

PATH legislation - Public Health Service Act, Title V, Part C, Section 521, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 290cc-21 et. seq.; Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990, Public Law 101-645.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness? (PATH)?

The PATH grant is a formula grant allocated from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to reduce or eliminate homelessness for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) or co-occurring substance use disorders who experience homelessness or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. PATH funds are used to provide a menu of allowable services, including street outreach, case management and services which are not supported by mainstream mental health programs.

The intent of the PATH grant is to provide outreach and engagement to those individuals otherwise not being served by the mental health system. DBHS works with our contractors to eliminate barriers that are preventing homeless people from getting into housing. PATH outreach workers work in cooperation with other agencies and case managers to help homeless individuals obtain needed services and address barriers.

Who can be served with the PATH?

Only persons with SMI or co-occurring substance use disorders who experience homelessness or who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless are eligible for services under the PATH.

How does Arizona define SMI?

The determination of SMI requires both a qualifying SMI diagnosis and functional impairment as a result of the qualifying diagnosis. Details of the functioning levels and qualifying diagnoses can be found in the Provider Manual section 3.10 SMI Eligibility Determination.

How are PATH funds allocated?

ADHS/DBHS procures PATH services through a competitive process and allocates PATH funds based on the need for services.

How does an individual access PATH services from an approved DBHS contractor?

PATH Eligible: An individual may be enrolled in PATH when the PATH eligibility criteria are met and the HMIS record contains enough universal data elements and other PATH data elements to identify the individual and document some of his/her needs.

PATH Enrolled: PATH Enrollment implies that there is intent to provide services for an individual beyond those provided in outreach AND there is mutual intent for such services to begin. The following standards should be met to consider an individual PATH Enrolled:

  1. The individual has been determined to be ‘PATH Eligible’
    1. Individual is experiencing and displaying signs and symptoms of SMI
    2. Individual is homeless as a result of SMI
    3. Past use or need of mental health services
  2. The individual and the PATH outreach worker have reached a point in the engagement process where there is mutual agreement and consent for other services to begin.
  3. The PATH outreach worker has created an individual file and record in HMIS for this individual which includes at minimum:
    1. Basic demographic and some Universal Data elements in HMIS
    2. Documentation by the Outreach worker of the rationale of the determination for PATH eligibility
    3. Documentation by the Outreach worker of the individual’s consent for services
    4. Documentation by the Outreach worker of the services provided

What services can be paid for with the PATH?

Allowable Services

  • Outreach services,
  • Screening and diagnostic treatment services,
  • Habilitation and rehabilitation services,
  • Community mental health services,
  • Alcohol or drug treatment services,
  • Staff training, including the training of individuals who work in shelters, Mental health clinics, substance abuse programs, and other sites where Individuals require services,
  • Case management services,
  • Supportive and supervisory services in residential settings,
  • Referral for primary health services, job training, educational services,
  • and relevant housing services; and
  • Housing services as specified in Section 522 (b) (10) of the Public Health Service Act.

What services cannot be paid for with the PATH?

  • No more than 4% of the federal PATH funds received shall be expended for administrative expenses as specified in Section 522(f) of the PHS Act.
  • No more than 20% of the federal PATH funds allocated to the state may be expended for eligible housing services as specified in Section 522 (h)(1) of the PHS Act.
  • To support emergency shelters
  • For inpatient psychiatric treatment
  • For inpatient substance abuse treatment
  • To make cash payments to intended recipients of mental health or substance abuse services
  • To pay for the purchases of construction of any building or structure to house any part of the grant program or
  • Any least arrangements in association with the proposed project utilizing PATH funds may not be funded by PATH beyond the project period nor may the portion of the space leased with PATH funds be used for purposes not supported by the grant.
  • Alcohol and Drug Treatment
    Preventive, diagnostic, and other outpatient treatment services as well as support for people who have a psychological and/or physical dependence on one or more addictive substances, and a co-occurring mental illness.
  • Using PATH funds to pay for in-patient drug treatment is prohibited. Paying admission fees to detox centers is also prohibited.
  • Back Taxes
    In the event a consumer's home is going to be seized due to non-payment of taxes, PATH funds cannot be used to pay the back taxes. In the event the home is seized, PATH funds can be used to pay one month's rent.