Evaluating SAMHSA’s CABHI-States and Communities Program

Helping people with behavioral health issues find housing and supportive services

With our partner RTI International, we’ve been working to evaluate the effectiveness of SAMHSA-funded Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI-States and Communities) program, which support efforts to provide behavioral health treatment and recovery-oriented services to people experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness.


In fiscal year 2016, SAMHSA funded 30 CABHI States and Communities programs, each of which aims to bring together stakeholders across the homeless service system to improve access to treatment and supportive services for homeless and previously homeless individuals.

Our evaluation will examine the implementation and effectiveness of the grant and identify and describe factors related to the programs’ successes and outcomes. 

  • Evaluation
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Technical Assistance and Training
  • Dissemination

Enhancing and expanding access to permanent housing, treatment and other supports

CABHI programs are competitive grant programs, jointly funded by the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). CABHI programs support state and local community efforts to provide behavioral health treatment and recovery-oriented services. These services are provided within a permanent supportive housing approach for people with:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Serious mental illness
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Co-occurring mental and substance use disorders

CABHI’s primary goal is to ensure that the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness and chronic homelessness receive access to housing, treatment, and recovery support services. These people often include veterans, families, and youth.

Focusing on the latest efforts

In 2016, SAMHSA awarded 30 CABHI grants (to states and territories, local governments, communities, as well as tribal and nonprofit organizations) to help them develop or improve their infrastructure and capacity to provide:

  • Outreach and engagement strategies, including screening and assessment
  • Mental health and substance use disorder treatment
  • Case management or other strategies to address behavioral health conditions and to help people gain and keep safe, stable housing and other services
  • Trauma-informed services
  • Peer and recovery support services
  • Access to permanent housing

Developing a complete picture of CABHI activities

To produce a comprehensive view of CABHI States and Communities programs and their effectiveness, the evaluation will collect data at the client-, grantee-, and systems-level through:

  • Project director phone interviews/web surveys
  • Evidence-based practice self-assessment surveys
  • Permanent supportive housing self-assessment surveys
  • Supplemental client interviews
  • Site visits to all grantees
  • Consumer focus groups

We also work with grantees on a regular basis to see if there are any new or “noteworthy” events within the site’s program (positive or negative), to find out if they have any evaluation training or technical needs, and to collect information for the cross-site evaluation (e.g., to identify recipients for the web surveys, to plan site visits, etc.).

We’re also providing technical assistance to grantees to help support their participation in the evaluation, to help them improve their local project evaluations, and to assist them with any issues they may have in collecting and reporting their data.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Project Partner(s):

RTI International

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