In response to requests from Hamilton’s homeless-serving sector, the CMHA Street Team was created in August 2020 to provide accessible primary, mental health, and addictions care for people age 16 and over experiencing chronic homelessness. The team includes registered nurses and peer support workers who visit shelter drop-ins and encampments across the city. The Street Team provides mental health, addictions support and nursing care. The team distributes Naloxone and harm reduction supplies, and facilitates connections to primary care physicians, psychiatrists and addictions medicine specialists. In collaboration with the Social Navigator Program and City of Hamilton Mental Health Outreach, the CMHA Street Team also assists with access and transitions into housing along with continued support to avoid eviction and institutionalization.
CMHA Hamilton’s Peer Support Workers are seconded from Mental Health Rights Coalition. In addition to their Street Team work, they receive internal CMHA referrals and referrals from probation and parole. They also provide peer support with the Intensive Supports Pilot and the Second Heart Project.
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