Health Care for the Homeless

The Health Resources and Services Administration, an Agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, provides support to the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program. Through grants to a network of local public and non-profit private entities, the Health Care for the Homeless program provides primary health care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment to persons who are homeless. As of May 2003, there are 155 HCH programs, with at least one in each of the 50 States plus programs in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Field Offices can locate HCH programs in their service area by consulting the National HCH Grantee Directory.

SSA encourages field offices to establish partnerships with HCH programs in an effort to obtain more accurate and timely disability information on their homeless clients, many of whom may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is a national education and advocacy organization with a comprehensive website on issues relating to homelessness and health care.  The Council has developed many useful documents, including several that relate to identifying and assisting homeless persons who may be eligible for SSI and SSDI benefits.

Visit the National Health Care for the Homeless Council website at:

Federal Interagency Reentry Council

The Social Security Administration participates in the Federal Interagency Reentry Council. The purpose of this group is to bring together numerous federal agencies to make communities safer, assist those returning from prison and jail in becoming productive, tax-paying citizens, and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.

Social Security's prerelease procedure allows you to apply for SSI and Food Stamps several months before your anticipated release from an institution so that benefits can begin quickly after your release.

Visit Social Security's prerelease internet site.

Visit the National Reentry Resource Center.

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administers the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program. The goal of the PATH program is to provide community-based services to individuals with serious mental illnesses (including those with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. For more information, please visit SAMHSA's PATH program website at:

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR)

The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal is to increase access to SSI and SSDI for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.  The Social Security Administration supports this initiative by reviewing applications from SOAR-trained providers and encouraging participation in local strategic planning meetings. For more information, please visit the SOAR webpage at