A program designed to help people in the Ottawa area who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to addiction problems will receive a cash infusion.

The Champlain Local Health Integration Network announced yesterday 72 new supportive housing units in the Ottawa region to help people living with addictions increase stability and security in their lives and reduce pressure on hospital emergency rooms.

The Champlain LHIN is receiving $959,100 for the first year of a three-year program as a part of a $16-million provincewide investment in 1,000 supportive housing units for people with substance use issues.

The funding will go to rent, and supplement and supportive services in existing housing units.
“Supportive and affordable housing is the answer to many of the challenges facing health care today,” said Champlain LHIN CEO Robert Cushman.

“This is really important funding,” Cushman said. “It’s only 72 units but for those 72 people, it will really make a big difference.

“We need more affordable supportive housing … or we’ll pay for it in a more expensive form with ambulances, hospitals and police services.”

Providing stable, safe and supportive housing not only improves the mental health and well-being of those who need the service, but opens doors to healthier communities, said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan.