Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patter, MA, MSW, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lois Bosch, MSW, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Tawny Greene, MSW, LICSW


What are the factors that affect the ability of a person with serious and persistent mental illness to maintain stable housing? People with serious and persistent mental illness face many challenges to find and/or maintain stable housing. Interviews were conducted with 12 individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Structured individual interviews concentrated on each participant's ability to find housing, how the participant found current and past housing (past two years), if he or she was assisted in the process, and identified any difficulties encountered while seeking housing. A second aspect of the study focused on the challenges each individual faced to maintain housing for 6 months to two years. The results found individuals with mental illness were often very challenged by a search for housing because of their illness and the ongoing need for services connected with their housing choice. The individuals who had personal care or medication management services along with their housing choices were more successful in maintaining independent housing. Most of the participants wanted to live in independent housing. Many of the individuals wanted to pair services with housing to make it easier for individuals who choose independent living to get those services. Recommendations include individualized supportive housing services, development of more choices in housing for these individuals and to increasing the number of affordable housing units.


SC 11.MSW.2004.Moore.L

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Social Work Commons