This report presents the overall findings emanating from the planning and proposal development phase of the At Home/Chez Soi project. This pan Canadian project is funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) . It is a five-year research demonstration project exploring ways to help the growing number of homeless people who have a mental illness. It builds on existing evidence and knowledge and applies it in Canadian settings to learn about what housing, service, and system interventions can best help people across Canada who are living with mental health issues and are homeless. The At Home/Chez Soi project is being implemented in five cities across Canada: Moncton, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
This report focuses on the planning and proposal development phase of the study that spanned from the time the sites first heard about the project up until the time of the formal launch of the project in October, 2009. In October, 2008, the National Team, which consisted of the Project Lead, the Research Lead, and members of the National Research Team of the At Home/Chez Soi, released a Request for Applications (RFA) to become one of the sites for this project. While the five communities were pre-selected, the particular partners who would offer the services and do the research were not. The terms of the RFA were that At Home/Chez Soi was to be a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Housing First (Tsemberis, Gulcur, &Nakae, 2004) vs. Treatment as Usual (TAU). Nested within each of these two experimental conditions were two groups of participants: those with high needs, who were to be served with Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) in the Housing First condition, and those with moderate needs, who were to be served with Intensive Case Management (ICM) in the Housing First Condition. Additionally, sites had the option of developing a “third arm,” or an intervention condition that was tailor-made to local conditions and needs.
The purpose of this report is to understand the story of how the five communities mobilized during the planning phase of this research demonstration project to develop a project and research proposal. The overall focus is to examine how the planning and proposal development process unfolded. The primary questions that we addressed were:
(1) What were the opportunities and challenges that the sites faced in the planning and proposal development process?
(2) What worked well and what worked less well for sites in the planning and proposal development process?
(3) What lessons were learned from the planning and proposal development process?
This report also includes a Key Messages document and an Executive Summary at the beginning.