OBJECTIVE. We investigated the effectiveness of a life skills intervention for people with mental illness who have been homeless.

METHOD. In this longitudinal outcomes study, we used Situated Learning Theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to provide group and individual sessions to 38 participants from two housing programs after completing baseline Allen Cognitive Level Screen–2000 (ACLS–2000; Allen Conferences, 2000) and Practical Skills Tests (PSTs). Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects regression models.

RESULTS. The PST scores of participants with higher ACLS–2000 scores significantly increased over time (food management, p = .021; money management, p = .039; safe community participation, p = .02). Participants with lower ACLS–2000 scores demonstrated an even greater change over time.

CONCLUSION. Most participants, including those with lower ACLS–2000 scores, improved and retained life skills knowledge over time, challenging the premise that people with mental illness should be excluded from mixed-level group interventions.

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