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$10 million donation will directly enhance homeless health programs within the community

Toronto, November 26, 2013

Thanks to a generous $10 million anonymous donation, St. Michael’s Mental Health Service will establish new programs assisting homeless people struggling with complex health issues to find stability in their lives.

“We are very grateful for this donation,” said Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos, psychiatrist-in-chief, St. Michael’s Hospital. “These funds will help us develop and test new approaches to support the health and well-being of homeless people and their reintegration to the community.”

The money has gone into the Urban Angel Fund for Homeless People and the hope is that others interested in supporting innovative health programs for this population will also invest in this initiative. The current funding will provide up to $400,000 a year towards innovative health solutions for vulnerable people.

The first initiative will address a gap that exists around successfully transitioning homeless people into stable housing. The model will focus on supporting recovery and community integration. Training and skill development, outreach to employers and support in job development, hiring and retaining employees with mental health and addictions problems as well as peer support will also be key components of this first pilot. The team is finalizing the details of this initiative and anticipates launching it in the new year.

Other projects that will be created from this fund will build off the success of this pilot and will look to address new challenges and priorities that may exist in the future. Homeless people and frontline community agencies will be partners in the design and evaluation of the program.

“The trust and support we have received from the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network and our community partners, has been invaluable,” said Dr. Stergiopoulos. “This vulnerable population will directly benefit from receiving essential care and guidance in a safe, healing environment – giving them a chance to rebuild both their lives and a healthier community.”

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.