In 2015, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario formed the Housing Health and Justice Community of Interest (COI) in partnership with the John Howard Society of Ontario, the Wellesley Institute, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) with support from Evidence Exchange Network. These organizations made up the core working group of the COI. The COI provides an opportunity for knowledge exchange among people working in the housing, health and justice systems, and with people who have lived experience of mental health and/or addictions problems, to improve the housing outcomes of those who have mental health and addictions problems and are justice involved. The “justice-informed” lens is often missing from many housing related initiatives and funding opportunities. The COI’s work seeks to ensure that the needs of this population are kept in view as the government moves forward on affordable and supportive housing initiatives.
In February 2019, the COI released Closed Quarters: Challenges and Opportunities in Stabilizing Housing and Mental Health Across the Justice Sector, a report which outlines the issues faced by people whose needs are at the intersection of housing, mental health, and justice system involvement, and also makes related recommendations.
Visit the webpage for Housing, Health and Justice COI to learn more.