Description of Services Provided:
Services through the P.A.T.H. Program are provided by a five member team of outreach liaisons. This team seeks out those unengaged adults and adolescents who experience symptoms of serious, disabling mental illness (SDMI) or serious emotional disturbance (SED) and are homeless or at risk of homelessness because of their mental illness.
The symptoms of SDMI or SED may also be combined with those of substance use disorders. Serious disabling mental illnesses are those that are chronic and impair an individuals ability to function within the normal range in at least one major area of life, i.e., unable to work, difficulty in social settings, requires help to attend to regular activities of daily living.
These homeless adults or adolescents may be found in shelters, under bridges, in caves, on the streets, in cars, "couch-surfing" with family or friends or anywhere they feel safe and can survive the elements. P.A.T.H. Outreach Liaisons visit places where the homeless live, offering them support and restoring hope that there is a future for them. P.A.T.H. offers these individuals assistance in gaining access to sources of community support, crisis intervention and enrollment in mental health services.
Additionally, P.A.T.H. staff offer community education and orientation about mental illness; information about the issues of homelessness as well as advocating for the people they serve. The P.A.T.H. Team offers advocacy, linkage, referral and short-term case management in the community.
Regular on-site access to services is made available through the P.A.T.H. Program throughout the City of Billings. Positive working relationships with over 175 community groups and agencies allow the P.A.T.H. Team to assist participants in accessing a wide array of supportive services. P.A.T.H. services are available at the Mental Health Center HUB Drop-In Center located at 515 North 27th Street in Billings, Montana. P.A.T.H. services are also available at locations such as the Community Crisis Center or the Montana Rescue Mission Monday through Friday.
Payment for Services:
P.A.T.H. services are provided at no cost to the individual
This project is funded (in part) under a contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.
FAQs - P.A.T.H.
Q. Does PATH pay rent and/or rent deposits for clients?
A. No. However, it is not uncommon for clients who receive services from local agencies and providers to misunderstand what PATH is able to do in this area. PATH Liaisons are responsible for assisting all PATH clients in accessing local community agencies and supports that provide this type of assistance. Only in certain circumstances does the PATH Program have the ability to offer financial assistance to clients with other resources.
Q. If I need assistance in applying for SSI/SSDI, can PATH help?
A. Absolutely. The Mental Health Center offers all clients who have serious mental illnesses assistance with applications for Social Security benefits. The Mental Health Center has two certified trainers who train Center staff in Stepping Stones to Recovery, commonly called SOAR or SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery. Again, it is important that PATH clients and others understand that PATH Liaisons cannot guarantee benefits to clients.
Q. Can PATH help me obtain documents like my birth certificate?
A. Yes. PATH has a special, time-limited project with the local Salvation Army. This program is called Project ID and is able to assist in covering the cost of certified birth certificates, marriage, divorce and death certificates; driver's license fees, driver's license renewal fees, Montana State Identification Card and rental application fees for clients who qualify for this assistance.
Q. Can PATH help homeless Vets?
A. Yes. PATH Liaisons provide outreach and supportive services to all individuals who are homeless or at imminent danger of becoming homeless may or may not be struggling with symptoms of substance abuse. The Mental Health Center holds America's Veterans in high esteem, recognizing that those veterans who are homeless are a priority for outreach and assistance.
Q. Why would some PATH clients be able to access housing sooner than others?
A. PATH Liaisons encounter many barriers when assisting their clients with housing. These barriers can slow down the process in some cases where accessing housing is concerned, i.e., poor credit history, poor rental history, old utility bills, old debts for unpaid rent. Another impediment to accessing housing is a misunderstanding on the client's part that the PATH Program will complete all the activities necessary to obtain housing which it is unable to do. Clients are asked to assist with those activities that are in their skill set.