Success Stories

Inner City FHT & Partners Receive More Funding for Housing Project for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

As of November 1, the Bridges to Housing (B2H) project received expanded funding to continue identifying and supporting persons with developmental disabilities (DD) experiencing homelessness.

In 2015, the City of Toronto, Inner City FHT and Community Living Toronto were awarded nearly one million dollars, recommended by the Developmental Disability Housing Task Force, a cross-sector group assisting the Ministry of Community and Social Services. An effective population-based triage and screening approach was developed that saw the rapid identification of clients with developmental disabilities and, with the help of Surrey Place, connection to Developmental Service Ontario Toronto Region.

Success followed with wait time for diagnostic services reduced from months and years to days, and most enrolled clients have been successfully housed. Unfortunately, many clients with developmental disabilities had complex needs that could not be met by the program as they required more supports than could be provided or supportive options that were not available.

To date, approximately 1200 homeless individuals from shelters and a Psychiatric Hospital have been triaged using the Rapid Assessment of Residential Supports (RARS). The emerging findings are as follows:

  • 27% were suspected of having a developmental disability.
  • 60% had a severe mental illness affecting housing stability.
  • 53% smoked cigarettes, used drugs or alcohol affecting housing stability.
  • 71% had cognitive impairments
  • 36% had moderate to severe behavioural challenges.
  • 36% were deemed to require 24-hour housing supports.
  • 16% needed nursing care to manage ongoing medical challenges.
  • Of those that were diagnosed with a developmental disability, many had a history of incarceration, abuse in childhood, drug use, mental health challenges as well as acquired brain injury. According to front line teams, behavioral and/or psychological challenges were the primary barrier to housing. Most clients in Bridges to Housing have now been housed and have been approved to receive Passport Funding.

Relevant Links