Integrated social housing and health care for homeless and marginally-housed individuals: a study of the housing and homelessness steering committee in Ontario, Canada

Homelessness is a complex social issue that requires a coordinated systems approach. In recent years, Canada has seen an emergence of integrated care, the joining of health care and social care, to address the needs of homeless persons. This article documents the findings of open-ended interviews with eleven members of the central east Ontario Housing and Homelessness Framework Steering Committee, comprised of service managers and the Local Health Integration Network. As the system planners for social housing and health care, respectively, members of the group work together to align system approaches for homeless persons. Research by this group identified three challenges of collaborating—their different histories and legislation, varied accountability structures, and differing roles and responsibilities within the central east region of Ontario. The study findings indicate that developing a joint document to guide the work was a process through which members began to work through these differences.

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Social Sciences
Ontario, Canada