CIHR funding to extend At Home/Chez Soi research in Toronto
Long-term effectiveness of Housing First to address homelessness to
continue to be studied
CALGARY, Sept. 3, 2013 /CNW/ – New funding from the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR) is ensuring research will continue for an
additional four years at the Toronto project site of the Mental Health
Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) At Home/Chez Soi.
By building on the information collected by the MHCC in the world’s
largest study of Housing First, this research will enhance
understanding of the long-term effectiveness of Housing First as a
means to address homelessness for those living with mental health
problems and illnesses.
CIHR has awarded a $1.9 million operating grant to the Centre for
Research on Inner City Health (CRICH) at St. Michael’s Hospital, the
research team that followed participants from the MHCC’s At Home/Chez
Soi Toronto site for two years. This grant will allow CRICH to continue
to follow approximately 450 participants in Toronto for an additional
“This funding recognizes the importance of At Home/Chez Soi and the
one-of-a-kind opportunity we have to build on our knowledge of the
long-term effectiveness, including cost-effectiveness, of Housing First
for individuals with mental health issues who have been homeless,” says
Stephen Hwang, Research Scientist at CRICH and Chair in Homelessness,
Housing and Health at St. Michael’s Hospital. “The findings from this
study will inform future planning and resource allocation to address
the problem of homelessness in Canada.”
Launched in 2009, At Home/Chez Soi was a four year research
demonstration project, designed to investigate the best ways to help
people who are homeless and experiencing mental health issues. The
project used a Housing First approach, with participants offered
housing through rent subsidies and access to mental health services and
supports. The research took place in Toronto, Montreal, Moncton,
Winnipeg and Vancouver, with research officially ending in March 2013.
A final report on the effectiveness of this approach will be released
by the MHCC in the coming months.
“CIHR understands that Canadians with mental health issues who also must
endure the absence of a home are also facing great difficulties in
securing the specialized health care required to function independently
in today’s society,” says Dr. Anthony Phillips, Scientific Director of
the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. “It
is important for us to support challenging research projects of this
kind, that document the impact of the transition to comfortable and
safe housing on the health of these individuals.”
“Research from At Home/Chez Soi has demonstrated that when you give a
home and the right supports to someone who is homeless and has a
serious mental health issue, they can live independently while turning
less frequently to costly health and justice services,” says Louise
Bradley, MHCC President and CEO. “This new funding is significant
because it will add to the outcome data that we collected from 2009 to
2013, furthering our understanding of the long-term effect Housing
First can have on communities and the lives of those who have
experienced homelessness alongside a mental health issue.”
At Home/Chez Soi research found that for every $10 spent on
participants, $7 was saved through the reduced use of other shelter,
health and justice services. For high service users, $22 was saved for
every $10 spent through the reduced use of local services.
This funding follows the Government of Ontario’s announcement in
February that it is providing continued supportive housing and services
to 240 people living with mental illness who were part of At Home/Chez
Soi in Toronto.
ABOUT CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s
mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its
translation into improved health, more effective health services and
products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed
of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than
14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
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 create 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