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Pathways To Homelessness

At a conference on Monday November 3rd, which examined Mental Illness and Homelessness, Don Wasylenki from the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, with many colleagues, presented findings of a study

looking at MI and Homelessness. The main finding, which is a NEW finding (compared to several other similar but "less superior" studies) was that mental illness is NOT a predisposing factor to homelessness (in general). Yes, there are mentally ill persons with no home, but they are there because of social problems leading to financial and other supports breaking down. Most other homeless persons do not have mental illness. Loss of a job or unaffordable housing is the number one

reason for being on the street. The study found that the roots of homelessness are most often found in childhood - many homeless persons were victims of childhood sexual or physical abuse, compounded by poor education, few social skills and few family and friends to rely on.

The project was funded by the Donner Canadian Foundation, with additional support from the Clarke Foundation.

For more information on this study and fact sheets on homelessness with the 'faces of homelessness' contact:

The Communications Department

Clarke Institute of Psychiatry

Tel. 416-979-6816 Fax 416-979-6902