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Provincial funding to help find homes for vulnerable people forced to reside in hospitals; LTC homes

Ontario is providing $2.9 million to Addictions and Mental Health Services Hastings Prince Edward (AMHS – HPE) to help re-home people with a history of addictions, mental health and other co-morbidities residing in hospitals or long-term care homes.

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith said today that through the Back to Home Program, people filling alternate level of care (ALC) beds in Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals could benefit from approximately 30 new-build or retrofit housing units in Belleville that would be served 24/7 by staff providing wrap-around services such as case management, mental health and addictions counselling, nursing, and personal supports. Community participation and networking would also be encouraged, with a conscious effort made to reduce stigma for residents.

“This project will provide safe housing and life-changing support for some of the Quinte region’s most vulnerable residents,” said Smith. “At the same time, this housing will ease some of the pressure on QHC and improve access to health-care services in this region. The benefit will be wide-reaching.”

Smith noted data from AMHS – HPE shows that over the past five years, QHC has had an average of 24 ALC patients with mental health or addictions per year. Those patients — many with complex health needs and multiple diagnoses — represent more than 3,500 patient days over that time span. Several patients have been in institutionalized settings for two-to-three years and have had limited access to health services, like primary care, or affordable housing. Some have transitioned out of hospital to long-term care, only to return to a hospital setting.

AMHS-HPE Chief Executive Officer Garry Laws was pleased to learn the project will move forward.

“The announcement of this Back to Home funding is extremely critical for Hastings-Prince Edward and all of the patients who are inappropriately housed in hospitals or long-term care beds,” Laws said. “This funding will provide patients in Alternate Level of Care beds with an affordable housing option while they receive quality health care. On behalf of the board of directors, thank you to the Ministry of Health for recognizing AMHS-HPE’s proposal.”

Laws indicated AMHS-HPE intends to partner with QHC, Ontario Health Teams, community service providers, and cultural leaders to successfully implement the Back To Home program.

The funding, which includes rent supplements, is related to a $13.7-million commitment to Back to Home programs across Ontario in December as part of $176 million in new investments part of the province’s 10-year Roadmap to Wellness strategy.

Filed Under: Local News

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