Housing with supports is key to recovery for many people living with mental health or addictions issues. This is one of the main messages that CMHA Elgin is sharing with the community to mark World Homeless Day this October 10.
Evidence indicates that having a place to call home means a better quality of life and success in education and work. And housing with appropriate supports is shown to improve outcomes from even severe mental health and addictions problems.
CMHA supports the ‘Housing First’ model, a person-centred approach that provides immediate access to permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, without requiring psychiatric treatment or sobriety as determinants of ‘housing readiness.’ Research on this approach shows that it reduces hospitalization and increases housing stability significantly more than treatment alone.
In partnership with other stakeholders, CMHAs continue their efforts to promote the need for housing in general and supportive housing in particular for people with lived experience of mental illness. CMHAs have called for increased investments in housing, as well as the need to reduce barriers to housing as one way to reduce the overall costs to health care, police and justice, and social services sectors.
CMHA Elgin has a number of housing programs, both short- and long-term. The goal of the housing support program is to improve housing stability and safety for people with serious mental illness aged 16 or older who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or who are living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions. In addition to offering help in finding permanent housing through our Housing Drop-In program, we also offer direct housing support through our Supportive Housing, Homeless Prevention, and Community Homes for Opportunity (CHO) programs.
For more information on World Homeless Day, visit their website.