Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kathleen Clark DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Jacqueline Njoki Sumner DNP, RN


Individuals who are experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness have a difficult time accessing healthcare systems. Without mental health treatment and stable housing, individuals develop multiple needs that must be addressed during an individual visit. Without treatment for mental health symptoms, individuals may experience a negative impact on their quality of life and the ability to get basic needs met. Community organizations have an obligation to provide integrated care with a goal to improve overall health for this population. As nurse leaders there is an opportunity to be advocates and implement innovative ideas to improve care. In a large adult men’s shelter clinic, a nurse manager developed a proposal to implement Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services within a primary care shelter clinic. This proposal was written to support the shelter staff who reported an increased need for mental health services among residents living within the shelter. After researching the grant proposal process for ACT, requirements for ACT services, and the benefits, it was determined that the shelter clinic would not be able to accommodate an entire ACT team; it could still provide added mental health services to improve overall health to individuals experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness residing within the shelter. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Care provided the framework as the human need to belong is a core concept in providing care to marginalized groups of people. This project supports the importance of providing integrated care to build relationships that can improve engagement.


SC 11.MAN.2020.Churcher.J