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Solving Homelessness, Mental Health Problems Through Independent Living

The JAMA Report

Individuals with moderate mental health needs represent a large part of homeless persons in the United States and across North America. Currently, the Housing First Program helps to provide shelter and treatment to homeless individuals with mental illnesses. Stephen W. Wang, MD, MPH and Vicky Stergiopoulos, MD, MHSc of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto recruited 1,200 homeless individuals for a study to determine the effectiveness of housing and independent living on homelessness. Half of the participants in the study received supplements and intensive mental health support, while the remaining participants did not receive supplementation, but were referred to community services in their local areas. Results of the study revealed that the intervention group showed far greater success in retaining stable housing, proving that treatment for these illnesses can be achieved more effectively, and at a lower cost than other methods of care.

Read the study published in JAMA.