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Priorities for Supportive Housing Services: Perspectives of People With Mental Illness in Northeastern Ontario [2019]

Background
Accessible, appropriate, and affordable housing is recognized as essential for the well-being of all Canadians. Securing and maintaining housing tenure for individuals living with chronic health and social challenges can be compromised without appropriate services. There has been limited research into the priorities to enhance supportive housing services from the perspective of individuals living with mental illness in smaller urban and rural communities.

Purpose
The purpose was to describe the priorities for supportive housing from the viewpoints of tenants recovering from mental illness in northeastern Ontario.

Methods
This descriptive study used Q methodology to engage 52 adults regarding their impressions about enhancing supportive housing services. Participants ranked 39 housing and support priority statements on a nine-point Likert-type scale.

Results
Four discrete viewpoints about priorities for supportive housing were building a home, letting others in, moving outside the walls, and accessing personalized services. Common across these viewpoints was the need to increase financial assistance offered through existing programs.

Conclusions
Fostering individual pathways to recovery involves mitigating health and social disparities, relative to supportive housing, one size does not fit all. Service providers and decision makers are compelled to situate each individual within an evidence-informed supportive housing system for citizenship.

Phyllis Montgomery, Sharolyn Mossey, Karen McCauley
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, March 14, 2019
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