As part of a community-based survey of 529 homeless adults, the authors
analyzed factors associated with their use of mental health services.
Homeless persons who had had a previous psychiatric hospitalization were
the least likely to sleep in an emergency shelter, had been homeless nearly
twice as long as the rest of the sample, had the worst mental health
status, used alcohol and drugs the most, and were the most involved in
criminal activities. The majority had not made an outpatient mental health
visit in 5 years. It is suggested that diverse systems of care are needed
for homeless persons.