Navigation Links
Treat homelessness first, everything else later: Study
Date:4/28/2014

HAMILTON, ON, April. 28, 2014 Providing safe, stable and affordable housing first is the best way to help homeless in Hamilton, Ont., according to new research.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and McMaster University assessed the success of Hamilton's Transitions to Home program a program designed to quickly find permanent housing for men who are frequent users of the city's emergency shelter system. Hamilton men who in the last year spent 30 nights or more in emergency shelters or on the streets are eligible for the program, which is run by the city's Wesley Urban Ministries.

The findings, which were published in a report delivered to the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, show that providing prompt, permanent shelter to the city's homeless is cheaper and more effective than trying to treat underlying conditions such as mental health or addictions first.

"Before all else, housing should be seen as a basic human right," explained Dr. Julia Woodhall-Melnik, author of the report and a researcher at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital and post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University. "Transitions to Home rightly offers affordable, stable housing at the outset with no conditions attached. With housing in place first, people can better cope with and then resolve mental health and addiction issues and work towards achieving other personal goals."

Researchers used data from Transitions to Home's outcome tracking system and the Homeless Families and Individuals Information System a tracking tool used by all overnight case workers at Hamilton shelters.

"There are 160 participants actively enrolled in Transitions to Home right now," explained Dr. Woodhall-Melnik. "And 98 per cent of them are in permanent or temporary housing."

Most Transitions to Home participants spent fewer nights in emergency shelters and were more likely to remain in affordable rental housing if they stayed in the program. The program also provides therapeutic recreation, addiction counselling and housing support services to improve the overall well-being of participants.

"As far as we know, the therapeutic recreation program is something unique to Hamilton," said Dean Waterfield, director of Housing and Homelessness at Wesley Urban Ministries. "It gives participants an opportunity to be active, social, build relationships and even helps assist with mental health and addiction concerns by filling up time in the day."

Wesley Urban Ministries' full-time recreational therapist provides programming that includes bowling and baseball leagues, cooking classes, movie days, drop-in lunches and summer outdoor programming. The therapist also offers individualized therapy according to case management plans.

Since 2010, 176 Transitions to Home participants have taken part in the recreation management program. The average time a participant spends in recreation therapy is move than 15 hours.

Enrollment with Transitions to Home reduces nights spent in shelters. Sixteen per cent of participants who enrolled in 2010 did not spend a single night in a homeless shelter that year. By 2013, 56 per cent of that 2010 group had not spent one night in a shelter. Nearly 16 per cent of participants who enrolled in 2011 did not spend a single night in a homeless shelter that year. By 2013, 65.6 per cent had not spent one night in a shelter. Finally, 9.5 per cent of 2012-enrolled participants did not spend a night in a homeless shelter that year. By 2013, 66.7 per cent had not used a shelter for a single night.

Additionally, Dr. Woodhall-Melnik and her fellow researchers interviewed 26 men 16 who were enrolled in the Transitions to Home program and 10 frequent shelter users who were not enrolled. The research team also interviewed case-management teams and senior social services workers.

Researchers also found many of the men they interviewed had a long term history of trauma. Some had been exposed to parental addictions or poverty as children, while others spent time in juvenile detention. Still others suffered had mental health issues as children or had left high school.

"Most of the men we interviewed had experienced some form of trauma earlier in life," said Dr. Woodhall-Melnik. "This points to a need for better counselling services and good prevention strategies to support low-income and at-risk families and children."

The study also revealed an overall need for more affordable housing that is clean, in good repair and pest free; increased housing allowances and rent supplements; improved collaboration between agencies which help the homeless; and creative solutions to engage with the homeless.


'/>"/>

Contact: Geoff Koehler
koehlerg@smh.ca
416-864-6060 x6537
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers identify potential new strategy to treat ovarian cancer
2. Complications from kidney stone treatments are common and costly
3. Unemployment common after breast cancer treatment
4. Patients report high satisfaction with pain treatment
5. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Large clinical trials to evaluate risks of testosterone treatment urgently needed
6. Use of frozen material for fecal transplant successfully treats C. difficile infection
7. Airport security-style technology could help doctors decide on stroke treatment
8. Scientists identify cancer specific cell for potential treatment of gastric cancer
9. Non-uniform genetic mutations identified in lung cancers could lead to targeted treatment
10. MSU physicists push new Parkinsons treatment toward clinical trials
11. Treating depression in PD patients: New research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) , ... December 07, ... ... offering insurance and financial consultation services from offices located in South Lyon, Dewitt, ... drive to benefit a basketball coach who needs treatment for a brain tumor. ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... ... AlignLife clinics nationwide are giving back to their communities by collecting toys ... gifts wrapped tightly under a Christmas Tree. AlignLife hopes to spread the joy ... In exchange for generous donations, customers will receive a gift in return. Anyone ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Honolulu cosmetic and medical dermatology practice ... October 17, 2016, features comprehensive information regarding a wide range of dermatologic conditions, ... can discover the latest clinical dermatology treatments for medical skin concerns as well ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... 1105 Media’s Live ... the Folio: Marketing Awards competition. Live From won in the Use of Social ... and ultimately successful projects undertaken by the media industry’s most innovative marketing professionals. ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) , ... ... ... pioneer, ElectroMedical Technologies, announced its newest portable bioelectronic medicine device WellnessPro Plus ... , WellnessPro Plus substantially enhances the WellnessPro platform by expanding the treatment ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... Today, Stock-Callers.com presents four Biotech equities ... ), Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH ), ProNAi ... (NASDAQ: AVXS ). From its peak in July ... reach a level equal to what it saw at the ... for the year, it has still out-performed other market sectors, ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Licenders is bringing their 100% all-natural ... location in Park Slope at 203 13 th Street was ... clientele. "Our goal is to ease parents, ... are designed to get children right back to class without skipping ... all natural and safe for the whole family," Licenders President ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... -- Diabetes & Obesity Drug Development Pipeline Review, 2016 ... is currently dominated by therapeutics indicated for type 1 ... and the majority of the pipeline, in terms of ... these indications. While products indicated for obesity do not ... large number of these products in the pipeline, with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: