Housing is a basic human need — one that many of us take for granted. For nearly five years, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has worked with some of the most vulnerable homeless residents across York Region through a recovery-based approach called Housing First. Home Now, an ambitious new program led by CMHA and the Region of York, builds on the Housing First model by aiming to house dozens of chronically homeless individuals in York Region within a year.
Home Now follows the Housing First philosophy, which believes that all individuals — including those that are actively experiencing mental illness and substance abuse — have the right to housing. In addition to rent subsidies, the program offers intensive peer support, case management, nursing and occupational therapy services to clients. It’s an evidence-based approach that’s been validated both internationally and in Canada.