From the emergence of contemporary homelessness, case management has been an enduring strategy for providing individualized care to people with severe mental illness in community settings. The various models of case management all possess similar functions—outreach, assessment, planning, linkage, monitoring, and advocacy (deVet et al., 2013; Intagliata, 1982).
Major differences can be found, however, in the definition, practice, and outcomes of case management models. Systematic reviews of case management have dealt with severe mental illness in general (Dieterich et al., 2010; Mueser et al., 1998) and a select number that concern the homeless mentally ill (Coldwell & Bender, 2007; deVet et al., 2013; Nelson et al., 2007). Individual studies have produced a range of findings with uneven results. Systematic reviews, however, provide the best available evidence of the efficacy of case management models. Findings from these studies suggest the importance of matching a case management model with an individual’s unique clinical and social needs at various times in the process of recovery.