Reducing psychiatric discharges to homelessness

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In London, Ontario, discharges from psychiatric wards to shelters or NFA occurred 194 times per year. This discovery led to the creation of a pilot project that provided immediate access to a housing advocate and changed normal policies related to housing and start-up fees for a select group of income support recipients. The intervention was successful; seven participants who received this additional assistance were still housed six months later, whereas 6 of 7 who received usual care were still homeless. The goal of the current study was to determine the strengths and areas for improvement of a method to prevent discharge from hospital to NFA and suggest improvements in preparation for wider implementation.

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