Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nelson -- Day Two

Today we visited a remarkable program for at risk youth. The Cicada Place Youth Independent Housing and Outreach provides not just a home, but ongoing support for young people.

The philosophy of "Housing First" is key to solving the problem of homelessness. But to be succesful, homeless people -- like everyone else -- need to be part of a community. That means having a social network, feeling worthy and making a contribution to others. This model was very iunstructive in terms of the kinds of housing and supoports we need in BC.

We had an amazing discussion with a group of people at The Clubhouse, a welcoming and homey centre for people with mental health challenges. One participant said that the best programs for those with addiction and mental health problems include detox, treatment, support personnel and long-term independent housing on the same site.

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