DSB applies for funding to hire transitional community support worker

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) is applying for provincial funds in the hopes of seeing a transitional community support worker in place for Manitoulin Island to work with tenants and potential tenants of its social housing complexes in Manitowaning, Mindemoya, Gore Bay and Little Current.

“The DSB is putting together a proposal for putting a transitional community support worker on Manitoulin,” explained Donna Stewart, director of integrated social services for the DSB. Ms. Stewart explained that this position will mean a reduction of evictions in DSB housing, reduce the number of resident complaints, reduce the number of paramedic and police calls, reduce unit turnover and reduce episodes of hoarding, infestations and increase referrals to support services, employment supports and education. “It will address tenants with multiple needs,” in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The DSB is asking for $100,000 from the Ministry of Housing from its Home for Good fund for 2017-18 and an additional $104,000 for 2018-19. The DSB currently employs a transitional community support worker in Espanola.

Ms. Stewart explained that supportive housing is widely recognized as being a key component to assisting people living with complex physical and mental health challenges to achieve and maintain housing stability. The term ‘supportive housing’ refers to a combination of housing assistance and support services that enable people in need to live as independently as possible in their community,” Ms. Stewart explained.

“The Ministry of Housing is interested in supporting service managers (like the DSB) to collaborate with other sector organizations (housing, health, community services and children and youth sectors) to develop a coordinated supportive housing system, with flexible approaches to meet people’s changing needs and to assist people to obtain and retain safe, affordable and adequate housing with the appropriate level and type of support services,” she told the board.

The Manitoulin transitional community support worker will also collaborate with First Nations service partners for any off-reserve tenants of the DSB.