The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has released an interim report on the At-Home/Chez Soi demonstration project that details why the project was started and what it has accomplished to date. This third volume report follows two others, published in May 2011 and January 2012.
The report details some of the outcomes based on first-year results. The four main outcomes reported:
- Housing First Approach improves the lives of those who are homeless and have a mental illness;
- Housing First makes better use of public dollars (especially for those who are high service users);
- Housing First can be implemented across Canada; and that
- A cross-ministry approach that combines health, housing and social services with non-profit and private sector partners is required to solve chronic homelessness.
The interim report also documents 17 participants’ experiences, producing 34 narratives. The findings indicate that once participants were in stable housing and did not have to worry about their day-to-day survival or their illness, they were able to use their time more purposefully and look to the future for what they wanted to do. A major theme of the findings was that participants were able to make positive changes in their significant relationships, many through family reunions. Participants’ experiences will be chronicled in a National Film Board documentary series called, “At Home”, which films on location at all five demonstration sites.
The report also highlights some of the ways participants have learned to interact with their communities. For example in Winnipeg, participants took part in a photography project that captured their experience through their own photos. In Vancouver, a speakers’ bureau has been started. In Moncton, participants had a vocational support specialist work with them on employment strategies. The Individual Placement Support (IPS) employment model was created in Montreal, and will be formally evaluated as part of the research design. In Toronto, participants are learning how to do their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan. The researchers are also learning and sharing as they travel internationally to share the demonstration project results in France, New Zealand and Australia.
See, “Beyond Housing At Home/Chez Soi Early Findings Report,” available at the Mental Health Commission website.
View the “Here At Home” documentaries on the National Film Board website.