OBH recognizes that access to safe, decent, and affordable housing is a medical necessity for many persons with disabilities. Independent housing vouchers deliver real therapeutic value; promote consumer empowerment; support both civil and disability rights; and are demonstrated to be radically cost effective when compared to high cost, high intensity, institutionalized care. OBH administers the following two housing programs:
Housing Subsidies and Rental Assistance
The State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), through Shalom House and other local agencies, offers 2 rental subsidy programs designed to assist individuals in finding stable independent housing. Independent housing vouchers represent a foundation of recovery and hope. To the greatest extent practicable, DHHS empowers consumers with tenant-based housing vouchers which enhance individual choice, independence, and control over where a person lives and what services (if any) such a person decides to receive. Local Administrative Agents listed here:
If you are homeless or may become homeless, you can find a list of shelters in your area here .
General assistance at the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services may also be able to help you. Find a list of DHHS offices and contact information here.
Additional information can be found on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.
Shelter Plus Care (SPC)
SPC is a federal program funded by HUD and designed to provide rental subsidies and supportive services to homeless individuals with disabilities, primarily those with chronic mental illness, substance use disorder, and HIV/AIDS. Following a Housing First model, initial SPC recipients are encouraged, but not required to accept the provision of services to go hand in hand with the voucher.
SPC Forms - Updated SPC forms will be available soon!:
- Application (PDF) - also available in Word
- Subsidy Appeals Procedure (Word)
- HUD 52580A (HQS Long Form – Fillable) (PDF)
- HUD 52580A (HQS Short Form – Fillable) (PDF)
- LAA Contact List (PDF)
Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP)
BRAP assists clients with Serious Mental Illness, including those who also have a Substance Use Disorder, with obtaining transitional housing by providing a rental subsidy and assistance with finding independent housing. BRAP is intended to serve as a bridge between homelessness and more permanent housing options, such as Section 8. BRAP clients are required to contribute 40% of their income toward their monthly rent.
- BRAP application (PDF)
- BRAP eligibility (Word)
- BRAP SPC Powerpoint (May 2020) (PDF)
- BRAP Program Manual (April 2021) (PDF)
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
PATH is designed to support the outreach, engagement and delivery of services to eligible persons who are homeless and have serious mental illnesses and/or co-occurring substance use disorder. Particular emphasis is placed on those most in need of services and/or engagement by an outreach worker and those services which are not supported by mainstream mental health programs.
- PATH Providers (PDF)
- PATH Eligibility (Word)
- HMIS PATH Training PowerPoint (PDF)
- Maine HIMS PATH Program Guide (Word)
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR)
The SOAR model, developed by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is used to train case managers in completing and submitting applications for SSI/SSDI to maximize benefits access and employment support for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Providers/Care Mangers can enroll in a free, self-paced SOAR online course to learn how to better assist individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness to apply for SSI/SSDI through this link.
For any questions about what SOAR is, please contact:
- State Team Lead: Morgan Connolly
- Email: Morgan.Connolly@maine.gov
If you would like to sign up for the online course, or know someone who would benefit from the course, please contact:
- TA Center Liaison: Sametra Polkah-Toe
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (518) 439-7415
SOAR Outcomes and Overview
Recovery Residences offer a healthy, safe, substance-free living environment to support individuals in treatment and recovery for substance use disorder. Recovery Residences must be certified by the Maine Association of Recovery Residences (MARR), accept individuals who are receiving MAT, and meet quality standards.