Housing Homeless Who are Diagnosed with Mental Illness: Social Service Professionals' Perspectives


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Karen Carlson


Housing the homeless who are diagnosed with a mental illness has been a problem for decades, not only for the individual, but society as a whole. In this study, eight social service professionals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who work with homeless individuals diagnosed with a mental illness were interviewed. A qualitative approach, incorporating a semi-standardized survey was used. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. This study obtained data for the purposes of understanding the social service professionals' perspective of how housing the homeless with a mental illness is beneficial. The survey included questions regarding changes in mental and physical health symptoms, crimes committed, use of services, goals, safety and what is needed to maintain housing. There are many barriers for those who are diagnosed with a mental illness to obtain and maintain their housing. It is imperative for social workers to meet the individual where they are at in their recovery process and to advocate for and assist with identifying and reducing barriers. Emphasis should be placed on the housing first approach and social workers should advocate for more affordable housing.


mental illness, homelessness

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.