This presentation explores the efficacy and advantages of maintaining and sustaining housing for Indigenous individuals being released from custody. Together, the Canadian Mental Health Association – Sudbury/Manitoulin and the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre manage an eight month transitional housing unit for individuals living with mental health and addictions challenges as they are released from custody. Due to the disproportionate number of Indigenous individuals in Sudbury’s correctional facility, the Justice Unit was initially established to offer an opportunity to individuals facing additional barriers. The unit has also supported non-indigenous individuals in times when the unit would otherwise be empty. The individuals residing in the Justice Unit have seen both successes and challenges. Ultimately, this presentation examines the agencies’ learnings throughout the unit’s 2.5 years in operation and concludes with ideas for continued support for previously institutionalized individuals requiring intensive housing.
Presenters: Kerri Grace, Catherine Sloan