[The Star] A hellhole is not a home



The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health may soon move 20 residents from its schizophrenia program into 1011 Lansdowne Ave., a building with a rotten reputation.

How’d that happen?

Turns out the landlord approached CAMH; turns out such overtures are not unusual, perhaps because such tenants provide a landlord with a secure source of income.

CAMH, of course, is not a landlord, but it does provide outreach; also, in this instance, an outside agency may be hired to provide on-site support.

Last week, I talked to a couple who used to live at 1011 Lansdowne; they have mental health issues and they moved recently, after five years of being threatened, offered drugs, propositioned and eaten alive by bedbugs.

I also talked to two men who live there still; both men said they think the building is dangerous.

And then I talked to Dr. Kwame McKenzie. He runs the schizophrenia program at CAMH. He said that CAMH staff have sized up the building, and “the landlord has been trying to fix things up.”

The contract requires Madison to provide round the clock support. “Supports may focus on visualizing the Client’s new living arrangements at a pace that works for each Client throughout the transition period.” Can you visualize a prostitute having sex in a stairwell?

I have a lot of respect for social workers, but I have yet to meet anyone who can handle a caseload of 20 vulnerable people while at the same time tackling bedbugs, drug dealers, thugs and prostitutes.