Social Housing

 

  

Affordable housing: Dianova put its shoulder to the wheel

New commitment to offering housing for the needy in our recently-acquired, single-room-occupancy residence in downtown Montreal is supported by facts and figures that demonstrate for this type of project a clear, strong effect to increasing the capacity of underprivileged people to improve their quality of life.

Here is a reference to a highly important research in New-York, USA, showing how much can be the impact of offering housing, as a basic human right, to people without any pre condition. A coast to coast project called “Street to home” seems to be about to start in Canada.
Extracts (1):

The Pathways supported Housing program

Pathways to Housing, a nonprofit agency in New York City, developed a supported housing program to meet the housing and service needs of homeless individuals who live on the streets and who have severe psychiatric disabilities and concurrent addiction disorders. (…)
Clients enter the program directly through outreach efforts of staff of the Pathways supported housing program or through referrals from the city’s outreach teams, drop-in centers, or shelters. (…)

Most apartments are owned and leased to clients individually by private landlords. If a suitable apartment is not found immediately, clients who are living on the streets are provided with a room at the local YMCA or a hotel until an apartment is secured. (…)

 Furthermore, consumers regard their housing problems as more strongly related to economic and social factors than to psychiatric disability. They report that lack of income, rather than psychiatric disability, is the main barrier to securing stable housing (…)

For the homeless clients in these programs, living in apartments of their own with assistance from a supportive and available clinical staff teaches them the skills and provides them with the necessary support to continue to live successfully in the community. (…) 

Furthermore, after clients are housed and away from the war zone of life on the streets, they are much more likely to seek treatment for mental health problems and substance abuse voluntarily. Clients have reported that having an apartment of their own, sometimes for the first time, gives them something that they want to hold on to. (..)

Conclusions

The supported housing program described here represents a significant paradigm shift from the linear residential treatment model. Although few would argue that residential treatment settings have no place in the new paradigm, the Pathways program challenges popular clinical assumptions about the limitations of people with severe mental illness and the type of housing and support that is best suited to meet their needs. Pathways to Housing was recently awarded a two-year homelessness prevention grant from the Substance Abuse Services and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to conduct a longitudinal study comparing tenants who have been randomly assigned to the Pathways program or to linear residential treatment settings. The SAMHSA study, a collaboration with eight other cities, will provide additional data on program outcomes, such as psychiatric symptoms, drug and alcohol use, social networks, and housing satisfaction. However, the findings reported here highlight the importance of consumer choice in operating effective housing and treatment programs.

(1) Pathways to Housing: Supported Housing for Street-Dwelling Homeless Individuals With Psychiatric Disabilities /Sam Tsemberis, Ph.D./ Ronda F. Eisenberg, M.A.