Another obstacle in housing the homeless is finding appropriate housing. Individuals who have been homeless often have some kind of mental health challenge that impairs their ability to successfully manage all that goes into renting accommodations. Without some additional support, it is easy for people with additional needs to lose their accommodation and end up back on the street.
Gateway Residential & Community Support Services is a Niagara charity that was born out of this necessity. Families with members suffering from mental illness got together to provide safe housing and support services while preserving the dignity of the residents. Their model proved to be successful and they have expanded as the community need is great.
Without community partners like Gateway Residential & Community Support Services, it would be even more difficult to successfully house the homeless. Although landlords can not discriminate against prospective tenants on many different grounds, those who have been homeless and/or who have suffered from mental illness are often treated in a discriminatory fashion. Solving the problem of homelessness is everyone’s responsibility. While the challenges are significant, they can be overcome.
For more information on Gateway Residential & Community Support Services, visit their website at http://www.gatewayofniagara.ca.
For information on the Ontario Human Rights Commission policy on human rights and rental housing, click here: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/policy-human-rights-and-rental-housing