Winnipeg Project provides homes to over 170 homeless people living with a mental illness

Media invited to pursue stories about the Winnipeg project: two years later

CALGARY, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Many homeless people living with a mental illness in Winnipeg now have a place to live as part of the Mental Health Commission of Canada's (MHCC) national At Home/Chez Soi Project. Two years after its official launch, there are currently over 170 participants receiving housing and access to specialized support services within the Winnipeg project. Over 220 others have access to the regular supports and services available in their community.

There are an estimated 2500 homeless people in Winnipeg, and many of them live with a mental illness. The At Home/Chez Soi Project is taking place to find out more about this social crisis and demonstrate ways to help solve it, not only in Winnipeg but across the country. The project is taking place in four other cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton. What we learn in these five cities will help inform related planning and policy development across Canada.

The demonstration project is using a Housing First approach, which means providing people with housing, along with support services tailored to meet their needs. Each city is also exploring specific issues related to sub-populations. In Winnipeg, the Aboriginal population is a main focus. The project is also exploring what happens when traditional healing and spiritual approaches are used.

Media are invited to explore stories including:

  • Some of the early findings such as population demographics
  • Personal stories from participants and project team members (e.g. creative means of communication with participants, a service team member who spends a lot of time interacting with participants wherever they hang out.)
  • Some of the strong and crucial partnerships established with local organizations including the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and many community service providers.
  • The Lived Experience Circle, a project advisory group rooted in strong Aboriginal principles and traditions
  • Focusing the Frame, a pilot photography project that allows participants to express themselves and learn new skills (Public showing planned for November 24).
  • An upcoming three day workshop by Eduardo Duran, a psychologist from New Mexico who will hold a unique workshop for the project team, about trauma and its effects (November 15, 16, 17).

For more on the At Home/Chez Soi Project please visit: www.mentalhealthcommission.ca

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for transformative change. Our mission is to work with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems lead meaningful and productive lives. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada. For more information about the MHCC please visit www.mentalhealthcommission.ca

The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.

SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada

For further information:

Nujma Bond, Communications Manager        Marcia Thomson, Winnipeg Site Coordinator
403-385-4033/403-826-3942          204-945-4895
nbond@mentalhealthcommission.ca    

 


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