The CHOICE Program works collaboratively with the Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi’s Community Mental Health Centers, and Mississippi Home Cooperation to provide intensive case management and temporary rental assistance to make housing affordable throughout the state of Mississippi for individuals with serious mental illness.
Eligible clients can receive the following rental assistance through the CHOICE program:
Clients pay 15% of income toward rent.
If tenant has applied for Supplemental Security Income or Supplemental Security Disability Income but benefits have not started at the time the client moves into housing, they remain eligible for CHOICE
Guided assistance to find suitable housing.
*If an eligible client is employed and rent is 30% or less of gross income, rental assistance is not available under CHOICE.
Depending on individual need, CHOICE may also cover:
Rental application fee
Rental security deposit
Applicants will be assisted in order of the following priority
Individual must have been discharged from a State psychiatric hospital within the last two (2) years and had multiple hospital visits in the last year due to mental illness; or are known to the mental health or state housing agency to have been arrested or incarcerated in the last year due to conduct related to mental illness; or are known to the mental health or state housing agency to have been homeless for one (1) full year or have had four (4) or more episodes of homelessness in the last three (3) years.
Individuals being discharged from a State psychiatric hospital after a stay of more than 90 days; or nursing facility, or intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. A referral from an approved mental health provider must be provided for program entry.
Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes a subset for an individual who is exiting an institution where he or she resided for ninety (90) days or less and who resides in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that situation.
How to apply
For more information about mental health services in Mississippi or if you or a loved one needs help, call the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) Helpline at 1-877-210-8513. Staff members are available to provide help around the clock.