MONCTON, NB, Nov. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - A Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) sustainability study, released today, finds that nine out of 12 programs implemented during the MHCC's ground-breaking At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project on mental health and homelessness have made the transition from research to real world. At Home/ Chez Soi used a Housing First approach with participants offered immediate access to housing of their choice through rent subsidies and access to mental health services and supports, all without preconditions. The sustainability study provides unique insight into what is needed to ensure innovative research is translated into mainstream services. This study tracks the Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver programs after the At Home/ Chez Soi project ended in 2014. "Today we celebrate what we've learned that will help address people's needs," said Louise Bradley, MHCC President and CEO, at the report launch in Moncton. "This sustainability study is a valuable roadmap. It tells us what is working well and flags what still needs to be done to ensure Housing First becomes a mainstream option to serve some of Canada's most vulnerable people." At Home/ Chez Soi demonstrated that Housing First works to rapidly end homelessness for people experiencing mental illness—within months instead of years—the majority staying housed with an improved quality of life and connection to their community. It also proved that this approach is a sound investment, with every $10 invested in Housing First services resulting in an average savings of $9.60 for participants with high needs and $3.42 for participants with moderate needs. Although all programs experienced some reduction in funding during the shift from research to real world, participants continued to receive client-centred services and supports from multi-disciplinary teams. In some locations the level of support was reduced and key positions such as housing coordinators were lost.