Tackling South Carolina's Housing and Mental Health Needs

On October 28, 2021, HUD's Columbia Field Policy and Management team conducted a virtual training with staff from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH (https://scdmh.net/)). Through a network of community mental health centers, clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes, SCDMH provides medical and support services for children, adults, and families throughout the state.

Staff from the Behavior Therapy Program of Columbia Area Mental Health Center discussed the challenges their patients are facing. Therapist Makisha Brown-Harp indicated a high level of patients struggling with immediate housing needs and the difficulty of using various on-line systems.

The HUD team provided technical assistance to help navigate the HUD.gov systems and explained HUD's funding, the Fair Housing Act and how to file a housing discrimination complaint; also provided local resources. The conversation highlighted the need for more information about HUD's role in the community. "This was a great opportunity to provide information on various HUD programs so people with mental illness can live in safe, decent and affordable housing," said Kristine Foye, Columbia Field Office Director. "The session will help Ms. Brown-Harp and her team better serve their constituents, and we look forward to future collaborations."

The next step will be a statewide webinar for all SCDMH program directors, clinical practitioners, case managers and office staff. It will be scheduled for May 2022, during Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Content Archived: January 31, 2023