Report confirms Housing First approach works
CALGARY, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The At Home/Chez Soi Interim Report
released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) reveals
new information about what kinds of interventions are proven to help
homeless people living with a mental illness in Canada.
"We are proud to share these early and significant results from this
groundbreaking research," says MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley.
"The purpose of this project is to find what works and what doesn't
when it comes to organizing services and supports for people with
mental illness who experience homelessness; and to share these results
so that governments and Canadian communities can effectively tackle
this growing social and health issue."
The Interim Report outlines findings from the MHCC's At Home/Chez Soi
project, a five-city research study on homelessness and mental illness.
The project is based on the innovative Housing First approach, which
quickly provides people with a place to live in the community and then
tailors other services and supports to meet individual needs and
choices so as to maximize their chances of recovery.
"This report begins to answer important questions of interest to many
parties about why and how Housing First should be implemented more
widely across Canada," says Paula Goering, RN, PhD, Lead Researcher on
the At Home/Chez Soi project and Affiliate Scientist at the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.
The Interim Report provides significant evidence about the impact of
Housing First in addressing homelessness for people with mental illness
as well as information about the cost consequences of serving specific
populations. The evidence shows that:
Housing First improves the lives of those who are homeless and have a
Housing First makes better use of public dollars, especially for those
who are high service users
Housing First can be implemented across Canada
A cross ministry approach that combines health, housing, social services
with non profit and private sector partners is required to solve
Solving chronic homelessness can create dramatic improvements for
"This research gives both individual Canadians and communities across
our country struggling with homelessness new evidence and real hope for
an effective and cost-saving alternative to what currently is a tragic
status quo," says Tim Richter, President and CEO of the Canadian
Alliance to End Homelessness.
Early Findings Report Vol. 3
The release of the At Home/Chez Soi Interim Report coincides with the
release of the At Home/Chez Soi Early Findings Report Vol. 3 which
focuses on qualitative research results and implementation findings. It
reveals some interesting results about the effects of the interventions
on the lives of project participants in the areas of:
Social and family relationships
Control over personal lives
Disruptions due to illness
Contributions to community
At Home/Chez Soi Research Project at a Glance
In 2008, the Federal Government invested $110 million for a five year
demonstration project aimed at providing evidence about what services
and systems best help people experiencing serious mental illness and
The At Home/Chez Soi project was officially launched in 2009 in Moncton,
Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
Close to one thousand homeless people with a mental illness from those
five Canadian cities have been provided with housing and services as a
result of this project.
The MHCC's Mental Health Strategy for Canada and Turning the Key Report
both include recommendations to increase housing supports and expand
the Housing First approach.
At Home/Chez Soi is sharing its knowledge with other countries. As a
result, France has launched a similar housing first project.
The National Film Board of Canada partnered with the Mental Health
Commission of Canada to produce a web documentary on the research
project. Visit "Here at Home"
The research project is scheduled to end in March 2013.
A complete research report will be released at the end of 2013.
The At Home/Chez Soi Interim Report and At Home/Chez Soi Early Findings Vol. 3 can be downloaded by clicking on the following links:
At Home/Chez Soi Interim Report
At Home/Chez Soi Early Findings Report Volume 3
About the Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are
collaborating with hundreds of partners 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 and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together,
we spark change.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
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
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