In 2015, the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario (CMHA), in partnership with the Wellesley Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and John Howard Society of Ontario formed a Community of Interest (COI) to move the agenda forward on the issue of providing housing support to individuals with mental health and addictions issues leaving the justice system. Members of the COI include: Toronto Community Housing, Woodgreen Community Housing, LOFT, City of Toronto, St. Leonard’s Community Housing, Elizabeth Fry Society, COTA, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Simcoe Housing, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Ministry of Attorney General, Ministry of Housing, Northwest Community Legal Clinic, Alpha Court Mental Health & Addictions Services, Fred Victor and the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee.
In November 2015, the first meeting was held with all the members and agreed upon a set of goals and objectives for the COI. The overall goals of the COI are to improve housing support for individuals with mental health and addictions concerns who are leaving the justice system, and to increase collaboration and strengthen relationships across the housing, justice, and mental health and addiction sectors. The specific objectives of the COI include: (1) synthesizing existing research, (2) developing and sharing a cohesive message, (3) raising awareness amongst general public and local organizations, and (4) encouraging the development of innovative solutions related to housing.
Visit the webpage for Housing, Health and Justice COI to learn more.