The Here At Home web documentary explores the mental health and homelessness research project At Home/Chez Soi. It’s a five-site study that has housed about 1000 homeless participants with mental health issues, using the Housing First philosophy of providing services along with immediate housing rather than requiring people to access services before qualifying for housing. People receive rent subsidies or congregate housing along with mental health services delivered by either an outreach Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team or Intensive Case Management team. Research is still ongoing but the Interim Report is very promising, with reductions in emergency service use along with improvements in quality of life and community integration.

In “Here At Home: A Model Person,” a short video by Lynne Stopkewich, a participant is profiled as he cooks a group breakfast as part of a sheltered employment scheme. MadDogg reflects on changes in his life since being housed by the project. (For more about MadDogg and the Bosman Hotel Community, read this Vancouver Sun article.)

Here At Home is a site by the National Film Board wiith short videos from Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, as well as a blog. It features participants, researchers and service providers. New videos and blog posts continue to be added, so check back to see more.

Disclosure: I’m an advisor to At Home/Chez Soi, and have met MadDogg. He’s a nice guy.