The Difference Supportive Housing Makes

For those who struggle with housing stability, including those who experience homelessness, life histories are complex and unique.

However, consistent within research on ending homelessness is the fact that many individuals or families require some level of support services to achieve housing stability. This may be supports in relation to physical health, mental health, substance use, trauma, culture, or activities of daily living.

With the right supports in place, people are able to not just survive, but thrive.

The impacts of tenant-centred supportive housing are felt within the community too.

Moving on from hospital

As a result of opening a 66-unit supportive housing program in London, 33 people moved from tertiary, psychiatric hospital care to permanent supportive housing. This contributed to reductions in prolonged hospital stays and produced a ripple effect through London’s entire adult mental health system.

80% reduction in police calls

As a result of people having roofs over their heads—integrated with access to the supports they need—St. Thomas' downtown core has experienced a dramatic reduction in emergency calls. Less than 5 months into the program opening, the Police Service reported a 80% reduction in police calls.

Thanks to a recent partnership between Indwell and the City of St. Thomas, we have already experienced an 80%+ reduction in police occurrences in the downtown core. Bringing together community and partners like Indwell is vital in providing the appropriate resources to ensure citizens facing societal vulnerabilities have the supports they deserve. A significant number of our calls for service are mental health and addictions related, and obviously housing, along with wraparound services, play a crucial part of that role. Housing and support programs, not handcuffs or incarceration, is the humane way to successfully address the social challenges we are facing. I definitely look forward to Indwell continuing to enhance their presence in our community.

Chief Chris Herridge, St. Thomas Police Service

50% less emergency department visits

Blending critical health services with housing supports in Indwell’s enhanced housing programs is reducing Emergency Department visits. A sample of 45 Indwell tenants experienced a 50% reduction in Emergency Department visits during the 18 months following their move into an Indwell program, compared to the previous 18 months.

Moving forward in life

Providing a stable and supportive living environment enables people to work toward their goals. In selected Indwell programs, 25% of the people who were homeless and unemployed before moving in have now begun their journey towards education, volunteerism, and part-time employment.

How can we create supportive housing to meet the needs of Canada’s most vulnerable people, particularly those experiencing chronic homelessness and health or mental health challenges?

In 2020, Indwell was awarded a two-year research grant through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s National Housing Strategy, to better understand the impact of opening our Woodfield Gate in London on the lives of our tenants there. We partnered with Western University who lead a research team that includes one of our staff.

In spite of the pandemic, our tenants have been amazing participants in this important research project. This interim report published by Western was submitted to CMHC in March 2021.

9 in 10 people who move into an Indwell home are with us beyond the first year.

Housing retention and stability is a key outcome indicator in evaluating interventions that end chronic homelessness. A target of 80% of people served in housing first interventions remaining housed after one calendar year is an established benchmark.

In looking at housing stability of tenants at Indwell coming from circumstances of homelessness we are trying to compare our interventions with the accepted standard for housing retention.

Send a note of encouragement

Now more than ever, it is important that our tenants feel connected with others, even if they cannot be physically connected. Send a note of encouragement to be shared with our tenants who are feeling isolated at this time.

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