Toronto – June 17, 2021 – LOFT Community Services and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are launching The Path Home, a new community reintegration program for people with complex mental health and addiction needs facing homelessness. Building on an ongoing relationship with CAMH, this program provides successful transitions from hospital for those who no longer need to be there but have nowhere to go.
“The goal for our patients is a return to life outside hospital walls, but that's a big challenge for many,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH. “LOFT provides the support needed to enable the most vulnerable to make a transition to greater independence. We're thrilled to see this partnership with LOFT expanded, giving more people an opportunity to reintegrate into their community.”
The Path Home is LOFT’s largest alternative care partnership with CAMH yet—a site that was quickly repurposed during the COVID-19 pandemic to free crucial hospital beds. The first phase of this program opened in March for 30 seniors and older adults with a second phase supporting clients living with schizophrenia to open later in the spring.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with CAMH and serve a population that is underserved,” said Heather McDonald, CEO of LOFT Community Services. “LOFT and CAMH have complementary goals of providing high-quality care for those most in need and helping people transition well. This collaborative model addresses a gap in the overall health care system at a time when it’s critical to come together to work for the greater good.”
Through a partnership with CAMH and the Village Family Health Team, LOFT will provide 24/7 personal support, psychogeriatric care management and nursing at this location. The freshly renovated space, decorated to create a sense of home, includes accessible washrooms and widened doors to accommodate residents with limited mobility. A large common room will provide an opportunity for distanced social activities to keep the mind active and combat isolation, a challenge often experienced by this group. A spacious dining room with an alternate dining area for those who require it allows for community meals provided by LOFT’s John Gibson House, a supportive housing program located near CAMH.
“I’ve been in a hospital for almost four years receiving care for seizures, high blood pressure, and depression. Now I have a good place to live, where I feel safe,” said Maria, a LOFT client. “I’m really enjoying living here so far. All the staff and people living here are very nice to me. LOFT staff help me with daily living activities, like taking baths, doing my bed, and doing laundry. They also help me with my medication and give me meals. They help me with everything I need until I can be independent again.”
Since 2009, LOFT has been offering transitional housing support to people coming out of hospitals who need special care due to their combination of physical health, mental health, addiction, and/or dementia challenges. Usually, these people have stayed in a hospital much longer than necessary (on average more than 40 days) because there has not been an appropriate care setting to help them integrate back into the community. Working collaboratively with long-term care partners, hospitals, primary care providers, community agencies, and behavioural support services, LOFT has created a successful model that provides holistic care and wrap-around services to these people, many of whom were homeless before entering a hospital.
After a period of six months to a year at the The Path Home, residents will transition to either a long-term care facility, community housing or one of LOFT’s supportive housing programs.
“Thanks to our partners, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot in a short time, all to the benefit of our clients,” said Debra Walko, Senior Director, Complex Care and Senior Services at LOFT. “We’re thrilled to have the space needed for care that meets clients’ tailored needs and allows them to live with dignity.”
About LOFT Community Services
LOFT Community Services provides support and hope to people facing complex mental and physical health challenges, addictions, dementia, homelessness or risk of homelessness. LOFT stands for Leap of Faith Together and we’re there where there are few others, reaching out in response to unmet needs. Our goal is to help them live independently at home or with us. For more information, please follow @LOFTCS on Twitter.
About The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world-leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.