Rethinking Mental Health: Mental Health Respite for Homeless Persons

Rethinking Mental Health: Mental Health Respite for Homeless Persons

United States
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Over 1000 homeless adults were discharged from the state mental health institution to homeless shelters last year in Wake County, NC. 

The mental health respite program gives these individuals a place to go and is the solution to decreasing the recidivism rate.  This program is one solution to ending chronic homelessness. 


About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

As the state institution for mental health has been closing, homeless individuals have been discharged to homeless shelters with no after care. Over 1,000 were discharged in 2008 with only a 12% rate of ones who followed up with mental health care. In downtown Raleigh, NC, we have seen a sudden increase of severely and persistent mentally ill adults living on the streets.
About You
Raleigh Rescue Mission
Section 1: About You
First Name

brooks ann

Last Name


Website URL
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Raleigh Rescue Mission

Organization Phone


Organization Address

314 E. Hargett St.

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
What makes your idea unique?

This program opens a system of communication between the mental health institutions, homeless shelters, and the private mental health sector. It gives accountability to the institutions and the sector by tracking the discharge of homeless individuals and their quality of care.
It also shows that with collaborations with the community that chronically homeless adults can move into housing and be productive in society.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

We have seen individuals go from long term placement in mental health institutions transition from respite into permanent housing.
We have also seen communication between the county government and the hospitals open so that individuals receive the best treatment and care.


From discharge, social workers advocate for the individual to access a mental health team that will follow up with medication, transportation, and housing support services. We give 24 hour care to homeless individuals in a homeless shelter setting. We have mental health technicians, social workers, and nurses to give quality care. The goal is to have each individual in permanent housing in six months.


In one year, we expect to see at least 30 to 50 individuals in permanent housing.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

We will to have to continue to support salaries for all staff.
The mental health system will need to continue to give services to these patients.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

If we did not have the funding for bridging medications or a lack in paying for overhead costs.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Raleigh Rescue Mission

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Connections with the local mental health providers is crucial to continue access to psychotropic medications and housing vouchers.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

We need more room for beds because we continue to be full.
We would need: 1. funding for overhead costs for shelter 2. funding for staff 3. more shelter space

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

We were seeing many individuals showing up at our shelter straight from the mental health institution without any support or medications. Many of these patients were delusional and felt hopeless. We knew we had to do something to advocate for their rights and give them right to ethical healthcare and housing.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Dr. Jim Hartye of Horizon Heatlh Clinic brought the community together to help all homeless that were being discharged to the streets from medical hospitals. From this, we saw more and more that were also being sent from mental hospitals.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Friend or family member

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company