Spring Tour

13 community leaders toured clinic and outreach centers on May 3. To receive an invitation to the Fall Tour, contact kabsher@bcm.edu

Jail Inreach Program - Model Practice

Interagency Council on Homelessness cites HHH’s Jail Inreach Project as a model practice. Read more..

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon celebrates volunteer service. Click to see the photos.

HHH Dental Clinic receives award…(click for text and link to GHDS website.)

The Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston Dental Clinic received the 2011 Texas Dental Association Certificate of Merit in recognition of its efforts to serve the dental health and welfare of the disadvantaged population in the Houston area at the 141st Session of the House of Delegates in San Antonio on Thursday, May 5. Accepting the award on behalf of the dental clinic was Dr. Teresa Grygo, HHH's dental director. Also, in attendance were HHH staffers Angelica Montoya, Jazmin Ceballos and Ana Caraveo. The dental clinic was nominated in March by the Greater Houston Dental Society's Board of Directors.

Chapelwood United Methodist Church/Volunteers in Action donate 300 hygiene kits.

Success Stories
Examples of courageous people who are taking steps out of homelessness.

picJail Inreach Project

The Jail Inreach Project began in 2007 in collaboration with Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.  The project’s goal is to reduce rearrest rates by providing intervention strategies that include treatment plans and continuity of care post release.

Those with mental illness tend to suffer poor physical health and have increased rates of contact with the criminal justice system.  It has been found that homeless individuals with mental illness are inclined to be homeless for longer periods than non-mentally ill homeless individuals.  Typically, there is little contact with family, friends and other social support systems, and they have the highest mortality and morbidity rates among the homeless population. 

At any given time, nearly 25% of county jail inmates are diagnosed with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder, compared to 5% in the general population.  Those with severe mental illness have nearly twice the number of legal charges against them as those without. 

The inmate population of the Harris County Jail increased dramatically from 2004 to 2009, from about 7,600 inmates to 11,500 on any given day.  Roughly, 2,400 inmates are taking prescribed psychotropic medication, making it the largest provider of mental health services in the state of Texas.  The ineffective and disjointed system results in many of the homeless mentally ill cycling between the streets/shelters, hospital emergency centers and jail cells – the “revolving door phenomenon.”  The cost to the county attributable to the increased rearrest rates of mentally ill individuals exceeds $27 million per year, according to a 2011 New York Times article.