I'm looking at Housing First programs, and it seems like a lot of good work is being done in Canada.   The Globe and Mail of Toronto, ON publishedthis story on Thursday, March 21.  According to it, research on the Canadian "At Home" Program has had promising results:
"With the proper supports, many mentally ill homeless people are able to not just stay off the streets, but also get the rest of their lives in order." - Heather Scoffield, The Canadian Press 

Just last week, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s spring budget included funding for a homelessness eradication program that is shifting towards a Housing First focus, so most of the buzz on Twitter about Housing First has been from Canada these days.
Housing First initiatives have gotten more and more attention lately. Studies have been showing for years that the models work to decrease homelessness, and that they save money in the long run. Canada's government just ran what Scoffield calls the world's largest study on Housing First, and since the results were promising, it looks like policymakers there are getting on board.
-Alisa
 
 
This is a fantastic video posted by Streetohome, a foundation in Vancouver, Canada working to end homelessness.  They pursue the same Housing First approach that I've been looking into in Boston.   
They emphasize "safe, decent, affordable housing" as well as transitioning people between levels of  support once they're in the Housing First program.  It seems like they have good ideas, and probably do a pretty good job.  Does anyone have experience with this organization? 

 In any case, it's excellent inspiration for the video project I'm beginning, More on that soon,

Alisa
 
 
Check out this podcast, in which I talk to Ronald Brown, a homeless man at the Pine Street Inn shelter in Boston's South End.

-Alisa
 
 
Defining mental illness is categorically difficult. Knowing a few facts about how those definitions and diagnoses are arrived at can help a layperson understand exactly what kind of issues are at stake, and how to address and deal with an individual struggling with a certain disorder. 

The current manual of psychiatric disorder is the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, text revision). The next version, the DSM-5, is currently being finalized, and will be released later this year; it is expected to include some definitive changes, but the four definitions here are adapted from the current manual. Schizophrenia begins the list, as the most often misunderstood of mental disorders.