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The Homeless Assessment Program

The Homeless Assessment Program

Abstract

Many of the nation's homeless people suffer from unrecognized mental illnesses and do not have access to the kind of disability benefits they would be entitled to when properly assessed. The current system of disability evaluations for Social Security income claims is frequently inadequate and leaves these individuals without any source of income, health insurance, and mental health treatment. This article introduces a model of providing psychological assessments for homeless, mentally ill individuals by supervised student examiners, a model that could be replicated by other psychologists and training institutions. The authors argue that that there may be a large number of homeless adults who suffer from disabling mental conditions but who are not properly diagnosed and, therefore, do not qualify for benefits. The authors propose that the model presented can help to fill a gap in services and may serve as a model of socially relevant clinical training.
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