CMHA Middlesex gave a presentation on their Housing First program at the London Homeless Coalition’s general meeting on May 2, 2016. From their website:
The Housing First program works with individuals with mental health and housing issues to build stability and prevent homelessness. The team helps individuals to find and secure housing in the community and offers time-limited intensive support for housing stability.
The supports that are available are:
- Finding and securing permanent housing
- Support with daily living skills (cooking and cleaning)
- Support with community appointments, grocery shopping, etc
- Financial and budgeting needs
- Building relationships, support networks and finding meaningful activities in the community
- Crisis management and prevention
- Substance use an addiction support
- Support with physical and mental health needs
- Connecting with other resources and services in the community
Some features of the program are:
- Participants can self-refer, and don’t need a formal mental health diagnosis.
- Participants are provided with customized supports for their individual needs.
- Customer choice and self-determination are emphasized.
- Easy access to program staff for both tenants and landlords.
Why is this issue important for homeless prevention advocacy?
“Housing First” is an effective, results-based, recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that focuses on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing, and then providing additional supports and services as needed. It is an approach first popularized by Sam Tsemberis and Pathways to Housing in New York in the 1990s, though there were Housing First-like programs emerging elsewhere, including Canada (HouseLink in Toronto) prior to this time. The basic underlying principle of Housing First is that people are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed. This is as true for people experiencing homelessness and those with mental health and addictions issues as it is for anyone. Housing is provided first and then supports are provided including physical and mental health, education, employment, substance abuse and community connections. (From the Homeless Hub website, here)
To learn more about CMHA Middlesex’s Housing First program, visit their website below.
CMHA Middlesex is looking for someone to fill a full-time, 6-month contract as a Marketing and Communications Specialist.
The Marketing & Communications Specialist will be tasked with developing the organization’s marketing strategies including creating web content, print materials and social media content, and for implementing the immediate tactical communications of the Engagement and Fund Development Plans. The incumbent will create an inventory of strategic content and materials to promote mental wellness in the community. This position is a full-time, six-month contract.
For more information about this job, or to apply*, visit the CMHA website.
*Note that the successful candidate must have a Police Vulnerable Sector Check completed in the last six months. In order to avoid delays in beginning a position, interested applicants residing in London who are in need of a Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) are encouraged to apply for one as soon as possible as PVSCs in the City of London are currently taking approximately four weeks to be processed and offers of employment cannot be made without receipt of a PVSC.
My Sister’s Place and Belong to Song are presenting an event called Voices of Resilience.
The first half of the program will feature a humorous talk show style play in which the host learns about the challenges many women face, from the women who have been there. This was collaboratively conceived, written and produced by the members of the Expressions Group at My Sisters’Place. Come prepared to laugh and cry.
The second part of the evening will be a musical showcase of core musicians from Belong to Song. These musicians will also share their own stories of recovery and resilience.
Wednesday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7:00 p.m.) Tickets $20 advance/door.
Belong to Song is a weekly drop in jam session every Thursday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at My Sister’s Place. It’s a volunteer-driven mental health initiative supported by London’s Mental Health Promotions Committee for individuals recovering from or living with mental illness. Our goal is to help reduce stigma, build community, and use live music as an opportunity for self fulfillment & social engagement. Program facilitators ensure that everyone who wants to perform has an opportunity. Some participants come to listen, others to play an instrument or sing. With snacks and refreshments, the atmosphere feels like a good kitchen party.
The event also features a sale of items from the Micro Enterprise at My Sisters’ Place. The Micro-Enterprise (M.E.) is a collective of women who gather to create original jewelry and fashion accessories. The program empowers women to learn a full complement of skills that may lead to employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. Through each piece of jewelry or textile created, women achieve incredible success by learning basic principles of business, and marketing.
More info at: http://www.artsproject.ca/theatre/voices-of-resilience