Integrated Social Housing and Health Care for Homeless and Marginally-Housed Individuals: A Study of the Housing and Homelessness Steering Committee in Ontario, Canada
Homelessness is a complex social issue that requires a coordinated systems approach. In recent years, Canada has seen an emergence of integrated care, the joining of health care and social care, to address the needs of homeless persons. This article documents the findings of open-ended interviews with eleven members of the central east Ontario Housing and Homelessness Framework Steering Committee, comprised of service managers and the Local Health Integration Network. As the system planners for
... system planners for social housing and health care, respectively, members of the group work together to align system approaches for homeless persons. Research by this group identified three challenges of collaborating-their different histories and legislation, varied accountability structures, and differing roles and responsibilities within the central east region of Ontario. The study findings indicate that developing a joint document to guide the work was a process through which members began to work through these differences. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 15 2 of 17 community members living in the central east region of Ontario. As the system planners, funders, and administrators for housing and homelessness programs in their communities, representatives of four municipal service managers came together in person and on paper with representatives from the CE-LHIN, the system planners and funders for local health initiatives. This jointly-created document marked a critical moment; it provided tangible support for-and a commitment to-providing integrated care for homeless and marginally-housed individuals within these communities (see Figure 1 ).