Failing the Homeless: Barriers in the Ontario Disability Support Program for Homeless People With Disabilities

Failing the Homeless: Barriers in the Ontario Disability Support Program for Homeless People With Disabilities

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is intended to assist low-income people with disabilities, but many disabled homeless people are unable to access this program. In an effort to address this problem, Street Health decided to conduct a research project to identify the barriers that were preventing eligible homeless people from accessing the ODSP, while at the same time helping study participants to secure the benefits they are entitled to. In total, 85 homeless people living with disabilities participated in this study, and several interviews were conducted with each participant to learn about their personal histories of disability, employment, housing and attempts to access disability benefits. Project staff also assisted participants with new disability benefits applications and appeals, as well as other requirements for the benefits application process (e.g., accessing health care and identification documents). Findings from this innovative study can be viewed in the full report "Failing the Homeless: Barriers in the Ontario Disability Support Program for Homeless People with Disabilities. (abstract from the report)

ISSUE: 18.02.2008
PUBLICATION DATE: 2004
LOCATION: Toronto