South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Housing And Homeless Programs

State Contact:  Michele Murff, Director (803) 898-7767

"We have empirical knowledge that supportive housing works... Supportive housing is cost-effective, it produces positive consumer outcomes, it reduces hospital stays and emergency room visits, and it increases consumer satisfaction."

-----Ann O'Hara, Networks, National Technical Assistance Newsletter, Fall 1996 issue.


Notice is hereby given that the South Carolina Department of Mental Health PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) Formula Grant Program Application for Federal Fiscal Year 2016 is available for review and comment. This application includes the Federal Fiscal Year 2016 PATH Program narrative and budget for providing community-based services to persons who are homeless and have serious mental illnesses or co-occurring serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health is also accepting comments and recommendations for the Federal Fiscal Year 2017 PATH Formula Grant Program Application.

For further information about this program, please contact Michele Murff, Housing and Homeless Program, South Carolina Department of Mental Health, 2414 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29202, email or call (803) 898-7767/TTY 1-864-297-5130.



The Housing and Homeless Programs of SCDMH provide technical assistance and funding through vendor contracts to organizations, primarily non-profit organizations, that provide housing and services to persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses.
Our mission is to provide people with mental illness the opportunity to live independently in the community of their choice with dignity and respect.


The Housing program works in partnership with local mental health centers (see Housing Development Coordinators and Housing Access Coordinators) and interested organizations to fund and develop safe, decent, affordable housing with supportive services for our constituents. Consumers typically have incomes of less than $550 per month, and therefore must receive subsidies to be able to afford standard housing.

The program contracts with nonprofit organizations to fund a portion of the total project cost. Other sources of funding for housing include federal dollars (HUD Section 811 program, 14UD Continuum of Care Supportive Housing programs for the Homeless) and State dollars (SC State Housing Trust Fund, State HOME Program). We currently have a strong network of over 40 nonprofit groups State-wide interested in housing development. We limit our funding participation to no more than 50% of the total development cost of a housing project, but in recent years, we have leveraged approximately $5 in other (non-DMH) funds for every $1 in DMH funds. The Housing program also contracts with two technical assistance consultants, MHA in SC/Turnkey Housing and Nehemiah Corporation, to provide the additional field work needed to develop the units.

Since its inception, SCDMH and its housing partners have developed over 1, 100 units of housing across the state. Last year alone, we funded 97 total units.

Additional Housing Initiatives:

Shelter Plus Care

HouseIn December 1998, SCDMH Housing and Homeless Programs was awarded four HUD Shelter Plus Care Grants for five years, representing five areas of the State, for a total of $1,715,880. These areas and the respective sponsoring agencies include Columbia/Friendship Center, Rock Hill/Pilgrims' Inn, Myrtle Beach/Waccamaw Housing, Inc., Spartanburg/SHARE, Inc., Greenville/MHA of Greenville County Housing Corporation.

This federal grant provides rental assistance funds for housing units owned or leased by the sponsoring agencies to be occupied by homeless persons with mental illness. These units may be occupied by individuals or families with children with mental illness.

SCDMH committed matching funds for the five year grant period for all five areas, for a total of $400,000. Contracts with the sponsoring agencies, in conjunction with the mental health center partners, are currently being drafted and reviewed for execution by no later than June 1, 1999.

PATH Program

HouseThe Housing and Homeless Programs staff administer the PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) program. This annual allocation of $300,000 currently provides funding for four providers: Greenville Mental Health Center, Waccamaw Center for Mental Health, Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center, Mental Health Association in Aiken County Nurture Home, and Crisis Ministries in Charleston. Funds are provided for personnel and case management services for persons with mental illness who are homeless.









External Housing Resource Links:

Updated 3/7/16