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PATH-Provided Mental Health and Social Services

Data Sources Other SAMHSA Data Set

Authors Fosua Addo, MPH, Elizabeth Crane, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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Recommended Citation: Addo, F., Crane, E. (2022, July 26). PATH-Provided Mental Health and Social Services (The CBHSQ Spotlight). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


The Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program was created to reduce or eliminate homelessness and imminent risk of homelessness for individuals with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.1 PATH is administered by the Division of State and Community Systems Development of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).2 Program funds support outreach, case management and services that are not supported by mainstream mental health programs, and all grantees are required to provide a match of at least $1 for every $3 in federal funding.

Every three years, SAMHSA is required to evaluate PATH to ensure that the services provided were appropriate and well-administered by the grantees. The most recent evaluation, the 2020 Triennial Process Evaluation Report, looked at PATH program data from 2016, 2017, and 2018. The figure below provides data on the mental health, substance use, and social services that complement the housing services provided by PATH, and the number of enrollees receiving these services in 2018 (Figure 1).

Data suggest that in 2018 the most common services received by the enrolled consumers (N=70,792) were: case management (66%), followed by screening and diagnostic treatment (48%), community mental health (43%), and reengagement (22%). In addition, roughly 13% of consumers received alcohol or drug treatment.3 These findings suggest that the services provided by the PATH programs are addressing the needs identified as priorities by the SAMHSA 2019-2023 strategic plan.4

To review the full 2020 Triennial Process Evaluation Report, please visit



Appendix: Definitions

Re-engagement: The process of engaging with PATH-enrolled individuals who are disconnected from PATH services.

Screening and diagnostic services: An in-person process during which a preliminary evaluation is made to determine a person’s needs and how they can be addressed through the PATH Program.

Clinical assessment: A clinical determination of psychosocial needs and concerns.

Habilitation/rehabilitation: Services that help a PATH client learn or improve the skills needed to function in a variety of activities of daily living.

Community mental health: A range of mental health and/or co-occurring services and activities provided in non-institutional settings to facilitate an individual’s recovery. Note: This category does not include case management, alcohol or drug treatment, habilitation, or rehabilitation, as they are standalone services with distinct definitions.

Substance use treatment: Preventive, diagnostic, and other services and supports provided for people who have a psychological and/or physical dependence on one or more substances.

Case management: A collaboration between a service recipient and provider in which advocacy, communication, and resource management are used to design and implement a wellness plan specific to a PATH-enrolled individual’s recovery needs.

Residential supportive services: Services that help PATH-enrolled individuals practice the skills necessary to maintain residence in the least restrictive community-based setting possible.

End Notes

1. The PATH Program is a formula grant authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990 and was reauthorized by Section 9004 of the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255).

2. Additional information at

3. Definitions of services: See Appendix.

4. SAMHSA Strategic Plan 2019-2023:

5. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. The report was prepared by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality in partnership with CMHS, SAMHSA.