Housing and mental health supported by CKL-Trent University partnership
Over the past three years, Trent University and the municipality of Kawartha Lakes have partnered to create an Intensive Case Management Evaluation Report for Kawartha Lakes. Intensive Case Management (ICM) is an approach to supporting clients with complex needs in terms of housing and mental health. The Evaluation Report found that the ICM program results in better quality of life for clients, more sustainable service delivery and increased satisfaction in housing.
This study was an evaluation of how two Kawartha Lakes Intensive Case Managers from the Four Counties Addiction Services Team supported 45 clients from A Place Called Home. The primary focus of the ICM program is to support clients in finding and maintaining housing.
In the study completed by Trent University’s Dr. Kristy Buccieri, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, it was found that the Intensive Case Management program had a key role in the reduction of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes over the past three years. For ICM clients, homelessness was reduced by 36%, whereas homelessness was reduced by 23% for general clients of A Place Called Home.
In response to these figures, Dr. Buccieri stated, “Homelessness is an issue in communities across the country. Canada’s national homelessness strategy, ‘Reaching Home,’ aims to reduce chronic homelessness 50% by 2028. Through the implementation of this ICM program, the municipality of Kawartha Lakes has aligned itself well with this national priority and should be commended for the significant progress they have made over the past three years.”
ICM clients were also found to be more satisfied with their housing situation, including the quality of the housing supplied and the length of their stay. Through the ICM process, clients’ mental health improved, and the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder was reduced. Clients felt that they fit in better with their community and that they experienced better connections with their health care providers. This resulted in increased well-being, less pain and the ability to take medication with less difficulty.
Over the three years the Intensive Case Management program was being evaluated, the program resulted in clients reducing more than $809,000 in hospital costs. The ICM Evaluation Report found that due to the financial and humanitarian benefits of the Intensive Case Management approach, that the program should continue to be implemented in Kawartha Lakes.
“The findings of this report were very positive,” stated Hope Lee, Manager of Human Services (Housing). “We’re excited to see how the Intensive Case Management program is helping better our clients’ quality of life.”
A Place Called Home is an organization, supported by the municipality’s Human Services department, which provides shelter and support to individuals experiencing homelessness in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.
The ICM program in Kawartha Lakes was evaluated from 2016 to 2019 through collecting information through surveys from clients receiving ICM support and general clients of A Place Called Home.