Globe and Mail on Canadian Study of Housing First
See this article. An excerpt:
The study’s preliminary findings, to be released Friday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, show the potential value of an approach known as “housing first.”
The idea is that a safe and comfortable place to live is an essential first step to coping with mental illness, and that giving people the support they need in their communities will reduce the burden on shelters, hospitals and the criminal justice system.
The research project looked at how participants like Ms. Day fared compared with others in a control group, who were treated in the more conventional way – in systems that rely on shelters and temporary housing and require homeless people to meet a number of conditions, like getting treatment for addictions, before becoming eligible for help with an apartment.
The housing-first approach does not expect people to prove they are ready for a home of their own. It offers them choices of where they would like to live, usually apartments rented from private-sector landlords, and then helps them deal with their problems.