Quality of life for those living with mental illness and at risk of homelessness is at the heart of all of our work. This begins with a community-centered “Housing First” approach wherein housing is a fundamental right and a key contributor to good mental health. Supportive housing promotes a sense of security that enables members to safely engage in recovery.
Yet, housing is only the beginning. Houselink programs bring members together to address the biggest threats: poverty, food security and social isolation.
Our programs provide both the tools and opportunities to truly rebuild a life. As part of the Houselink community, residents and participants have access to valuable activities geared to help reduce social isolation and stigma, improve nutrition and build new skills. This includes:
- Social Recreation Program: builds the bridge from isolation to physical activity, community engagement, affordable entertainment and most importantly, a community of peers.
- Food Program: helps to bring good nutrition within the reach of all in need. Our Community Kitchens offer healthy $ 1 meals, seven days a week.
- Supportive Employment Program: helps to train members in basic and transferable work related skills. Houselink also provides part-time, casual, and relief roles to participant members throughout the year.
From humble beginnings we have helped house more than 2,000 people, served more than 60,000 meals and helped hundreds of individuals learn the skills necessary to find meaningful work.
Core funding from the Toronto Central LHIN and the Ontario Ministry of Health allows us to provide homes and the supports necessary for people to live healthy, active lives within the community – in the face of barriers like extreme poverty, mental health and addiction issues.
What is the impact?
A house is so much more than a roof over one’s head. It represents dignity, security and, above all hope. The economic impact of inadequate housing and homelessness is high. According to the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), it costs $69 per day for a shelter bed, $143 per day to keep a person in prison and $665 per day for a psychiatric inpatient bed, compared to $25 – $31 per day for supportive or social housing.
Beyond the cost savings, the current research shows that placing an emphasis on housing gets people off the streets and significantly improves both physical and mental health.