TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - On Friday January 21, employees at Liberty
Housing Support Services (LHSS) were notified that the agency was
shutting its doors on March 31.
Eleven supportive housing workers providing rehabilitation services and
transitional housing to people struggling with mental illness were told
that the agency was closing due to financial constraints. Staff reacted
in disbelief. The occupancy average was almost always at capacity and
the need for service high.
The permanent loss of 29 beds comes at a time when provincial mental
health recommendations call for more supportive housing for people with
mental illness. LHSS has a contract partnership with the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to provide five beds for clients
"At some point someone has to have the courage to stop the hypocrisy"
said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of OPSEU. "We have government
officials and mental health professional lining up to denounce the
reality that people with mental illness end up in our shelters and in
our jails and yet, the government stands by as mental health programs
are being eliminated across this province."
The closure follows on the heels of recent layoffs at the Regional
Mental Health Centre in London and St. Thomas as well as job cuts at
Whitby's Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
Last year the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions produced
its final report for the provincial government. One of its
recommendations stated that additional supportive housing be created to
support long-term and transitional needs for people with mental illness
For further information:
Nadia Shahabun, Staff Representative (416) 346-9108