A nation-wide study by the Mental Health Commission of Canada is prompting a fresh look at how homelessness is tackled in Nanaimo.
The study in five major cities, called “At Home/ Chez Soi“, followed the approach of a group called Pathways to Housing, which pioneered a “housing first” strategy.
Consultants from the group were in Nanaimo last week and the “housing first” idea struck a chord with the United Way of Central and Northern Vancouver Island.
Executive Director Signy Madden says they’re going to shift from supporting shelters to providing long-term housing.
Madden says Nanaimo has been ahead of the curve when it comes to addressing the issue of homelessness, but it remains an ongoing challenge.
Madden says they’ve got government funding lined up for the next five years and they’ll get support from Pathways to Housing consultants for the next two years.