Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

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Access to Recovery (ATR)—Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DPH/BSAS

ATR is an innovative program that helps people in Massachusetts who are in early recovery from an opioid use disorder (OUD) gain wider access to community services. ATR is making a difference: Overall, participants have seen a fourfold increase in employment after they complete the program, compared to when they enrolled. ATR graduates are better able to sustain recovery, find jobs, and maintain stable housing.
 
ATR participants choose the recovery support services they think will help them most. Options include care coordination, basic critical needs support (e.g., clothing, IDs), public transportation passes, health and mental health supports, and employment training. ATR gives participants the dignity of self-sufficiency and the hope for a future in sustained recovery.
 
This project is being implemented in four Massachusetts cities: Springfield, Boston, Worcester, and New Bedford.
 
For the relatively low cost of an average of $1,865 per participant for the 6-month program, ATR saves the Commonwealth money and, more importantly, saves lives. During one grant year alone, $4 million went back into the local economy by paying providers for the services offered to participants and by paying participants a work-study benefit when they attended job-training programs.
 
The key to ATR’s success is its focus on employment through job-readiness training, job search assistance, and occupational training. Job training is provided to participants with a recognition that they have complex needs and benefit from customized approaches to employment training. The ATR employment program, the Career Building Initiative (CBI), is a national model for successful job readiness and occupational training for people in early recovery from substance use disorders.
 
About 90 percent of ATR participants have some criminal justice system involvement and often face barriers to securing employment. To accommodate this population, CBI includes training in jobs that employ people with a criminal justice background, including culinary/food services, commercial cleaning, construction, hotel/hospitality, truck driving, and office work.
 
ATR coordinators are continuously trained on recovery planning, motivational interviewing, and engagement techniques, resulting in successful engagement with the participants throughout their time in the program.
 

SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Network

SAMHSA contracted with AHP to provide training and technical assistance (TA) on housing and homelessness to SAMHSA Homeless Program Branch (HPB) grantees and other homelessness housing and service providers operating across the United States and U.S. territories. Housing and service programs are united by a vision of ending homelessness by supporting individuals through a process of change as they improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. 

The goals of this project include the following: 
 

  • Promoting the adoption of best practices for serving people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless and have chronic mental illness or co-occurring disorders; 

  • Increasing workforce capacity through TA and training;
  • Disseminating information to the homelessness services field in support of SAMHSA’s strategic initiatives;
  • Collaborating with other agencies and organizations to improve the coordination of SAMHSA activities focused on addressing homelessness and building effective partnerships; and
  • Measuring meaningful change.

The HHRN TA team is led by AHP and includes partners HomeBase, Policy Research Associates (PRA), JBS International, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), and Abt Associates.  

Through AHP's team, HHRN provides assistance to the public and to HPB grantees, which includes PATH, Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), and Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (GBHI) grantees that touch people in every state and territory. HHRN serves as the TA and training resource for SAMHSA. 


Examples of work included updating, enhancing, and field testing two evidence-based practices KITs focused on people experiencing homelessness—the Permanent Supportive Housing Evidence-Based Practices KIT and the Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders Evidence-Based Practices KIT. In addition, HHRN has conducted multifaceted, interagency policy academies on chronic homelessness in collaboration with other federal agencies, such as a policy academy on youth homelessness and a policy academy on outreach and engagement to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.  
 

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