The Projects for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness (PATH) is a federal formula grant program, created in 1991 under the McKinney Act, and administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). PATH funds serve individuals with serious mental illness, as well as individuals with co-occurring substance abuse disorders, who are homeless. Under the PATH grant program, SAMHSA provides a flexible stream of funding that encourages community commitment to serving individuals who are homeless and living with serious mental illness and helps fill critical gaps in services. PATH, by nature of the selective focus, draws attention to the most vulnerable of the homeless population and allows for implementation of programming to meet their needs.
Agencies use PATH dollars to support a wide array of eligible services. People who are homeless and have serious mental illness can be very difficult to engage. Many among this population also have substance use/abuse problems. PATH funds are specifically targeted to help bring these individuals into the services they need. Grantees may use PATH funds to provide any or all of a number of essential services including outreach, screening and diagnosis, community mental health, case management, alcohol and drug treatment, habilitation and rehabilitation, supportive and supervisory services in residential settings, and referral to other services such as health care. A limited amount of funding may also be used for housing assistance - minor renovation, repairs, or one time rent payment to prevent eviction.