Bosman Hotel Community provides home and support to 100 people
VANCOUVER, Aug. 23 /CNW/ - In a major step forward in addressing the
needs of homeless people in Vancouver who are living with mental
illness, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the PHS
Community Services Society today officially opened the Bosman Hotel
Community, providing stable housing and support to 100 residents.
Each resident at the Bosman will have his or her own room and bathroom
and access to a comprehensive program of on-site health and social
supports to assist individuals toward independent living. Supports
include primary care, psychiatric programming, harm-reduction education,
medication management, family-reconnect programs, and group programming
such as yoga, art and music therapies, and life-skills training.
Located in the former Bosman's Motor Hotel in downtown Vancouver, the
Bosman is an important part of the Mental Health Commission's At Home
/ Chez Soi initiative - the largest research project of its kind in
the world studying mental illness and homelessness. In Vancouver, At
Home / Chez Soi is focusing on people who also have substance abuse
and addiction issues, and over the next four years will provide housing
and support to 300 homeless mentally ill people in the city.
Louise Bradley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health
Commission of Canada, said: "So far we've recruited over 325
participants to the Vancouver At Home / Chez Soi study - and
we've already learned some valuable lessons from them. The issues these
participants have been facing by living on the streets are alarmingly
common, including unmet health needs, safety fears, and frequent crises.
Clearly, it's time for dramatic change to our system of care."
Liz Evans, Executive Director, PHS Community Services Society, said:
"The Bosman project offers hope because it embraces the very values our
society strives for - one that is inclusive and one that says that every
life matters and every individual deserves a chance to be their best
self. The Bosman is an exciting start to acknowledging that we can live
in a community, in a city and in a country where fellow human beings
living with a mental illness do not have to be sleeping on our streets."
Strong B.C. partners
The MHCC has received tremendous financial support from the Vancouver
community for the Bosman project, including a $500,000 grant from the
City of Vancouver and a $1.1 million contribution from the Streetohome
Foundation ( href="http://www.streetohome.org/">www.streetohome.org),
which included a $275,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation ( href="http://www.vancouverfoundation.bc.ca/">www.vancouverfoundation.bc.ca),
and a $250,000 contribution from BC Housing for building renovations and
At Home/Chez Soi: Largest research project of its kind in the world
At Home/Chez Soi is a ground‐breaking national research project
in five cities -Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton - to
find the best way to provide housing and services to people who are
living with mental illness and homelessness. Using a 'Housing First'
approach, the research project focuses on first providing people who are
homeless with a place to live, and then the other assistance and
services they require. The goal is to see if this approach is better
than traditional care.
A total of 2,285 people who are homeless and living with a mental
illness will participate in the study. Of these, 1,325 participants in
the research project will be given a place to live and offered a range
of housing, health and social support services over the course of the
research initiative. These supports include help with maintaining a
home, undertaking routine tasks like shopping or getting to a doctor's
appointment or securing opportunities for education, volunteering and
employment. The rest of the participants will receive the services that
are currently available in the five test sites. Both groups will be
compared to see which approach works best.
The research will help make Canada a world leader in providing better
services to people living with homelessness and mental illness.
For more information on the At Home/Chez Soi project, please
(English) or http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/Francais/Pages/Litinerance.aspx
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a non-profit
organization created to focus national attention on mental health issues
and to work to improve the health and social outcomes of people living
with mental illness. In February 2008, the federal government allocated
$110 million to the MHCC to find ways to help the growing number of
people who are homeless and have a mental illness. For more, visit href="http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/">www.mentalhealthcommission.ca.
The PHS Community Services Society provides affordable,
low-barrier supportive housing and services to marginalized people, many
of whom suffer from mental illness, physical disabilities and
addictions. These services include a supervised injection facility,
detoxification and addiction recovery services, an art gallery, life
skills training, low threshold employment and banking.
SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada
For further information: For further information:
or for interviews:
|MHCC Communication |
Nujma Bond 403-385-4033
Karleena Suppiah 403-385-4045
| PHS Community Services Society|
Liz Evans 604-720-3051
Jeff West 778-316-8364