Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Geoffrey Nelson

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


A qualitative, narrative approach was used to evaluate a supported housing program for formerly homeless people with serious mental health problems. The housing organization hosting the research is currently providing supported-living, single-occupancy apartments funded under the Phase II Mental Health Homelessness Initiative by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The study was designed to gather the stories of those who have been recently homeless or at risk for homelessness, have a serious mental illness, and have been housed within the past year in this housing, as well as to provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of supported housing for this particular population. Narratives were developed based on twelve interviews, six with consumers and six with a significant other chosen by each consumer. The consumer and significant other interviews were combined into one narrative for each participant. The main analysis involved a comparison of the lives of the consumers before they entered supported housing and after they entered supported housing. The narrative approach was used to complement quantitative outcome research that has been carried out to examine the effectiveness of supported housing. Before supported housing, consumers reported their housing to be unstable; they felt insecure financially; many relationships with family were often strained; and many feared for their physical safety in past housing situations. After supported housing consumers were more stable in their housing; they felt more secure financially; relationships with friends and family were stronger; and they felt safer in their homes. Loneliness was a predominant theme of consumers' experiences of living in independent apartments. The findings were discussed in terms of previous research and their implications for future research and action.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons