Despite barriers like cost of living or proximity to our workplaces, many of us have a choice on where we want to live. But that’s not the case for everyone.
Catharine Hume with the Mental Health Commission of Canada says the benefits of having that choice are a key finding in a five-year study that housed 500 people with mental illness and drug addictions in apartments scattered throughout Vancouver.
“The vast majority of people who have experienced homelessness – in some cases for very long periods of time – they have mental health issues, have substance abuse issues, have other issues in their lives. They are able to stabilize and maintain in housing of choice.”
Hume says the stigma that street people are “hopeless” needs to be replaced with a responsibility to offer more housing choices.