Adults with Mental Health Issues in Conflict with the Justice System
Mental Health & Justice Housing and Support Services provides safe and dignified supportive housing for men and women, aged 16 to 64, who have a serious mental health issue, are homeless or at risk of becoming so, are currently involved in the criminal justice system, and who can live safely and independently in the community with minimal assistance.
Clients face complex challenges in addition to mental health concerns. These include physical health issues, few employment opportunities and a lack of social and life skill. Substance abuse is an issue for many clients and often remains a challenge as clients work towards their recovery goals and safe integration into the community.
The goal of MHJ is to assist members to become more independent and reduce both their criminal involvement and the number of times they are hospitalized. The program has a very strong psycho-social rehabilitation philosophy, the principle tenets of which are that clients have the right to control their own lives, set their own goals, participate in their own recovery, and live with dignity and maximum independence.
Clients live in bachelor and one-bedroom apartments with rent geared to the tenant’s income. All MHJ housing units are rented by LOFT Community Services and sub-leased to MHJ clients.
At the high-support housing site in East York, staff are on site between 8 and 13 hours/day. A lounge and community kitchen ensure that there is always someone available to talk to, and are frequently used by building residents and the wider MHJ community for both organized events and informal socializing. Additional housing units are available in various parts of the city, for clients who are able to live more independently.
MHJ Support Services
MHJ community support workers provide intensive case management services in response to the needs of each individual client. These services include supportive counseling, advocacy, information and referrals to other services, assistance in acquiring life skills and coping with daily living and crisis prevention and intervention. Workers meet with their clients between one and three times a week to assist them with their needs and help them maintain their housing.
MHJ in North York
Through a partnership with Toronto North Support Services (TNSS), MHJ offers housing units rented by LOFT and sub-let to clients and TNSS provides intensive case management services.
The Mental Health & Justice Initiative
LOFT is one of four lead agencies that, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Ontario, deliver the Mental Health and Justice Initiative in the Toronto Region. The other three lead agencies are Canadian Mental Health Association Metro Toronto Branch, COTA Health and Houselink Community Homes. For more information on the Mental Health & Justice Initiative, please visit their website at http://www.mentalhealthandjustice.org.
Read Kevin’s Story – a client of the Mental Health and Justice Initiative.
For contact information, please visit the Contact Us page of our website and scroll down until you find the program you are looking for.