“To work for more quality, supportive housing, for those experiencing mental health and addiction issues, and to reduce the barriers in their lives resulting from poverty and stigma; and to do so through public education, research, advocacy and example, utilizing and capitalizing on members’ personal experience.”
1) Building new supportive housing.
2) Ensuring that the tenant’s voice is central in all issues of supportive housing.
3) Working toward economic justice and inclusion for consumers.
4) Fighting stigma and promoting Human Rights
In addition, we lead workshops for those who wish to learn more about mental illness, supportive housing, and discriminatory bylaws. Dream Team members are also actively involved in conducting and contributing to research projects, and preparing submissions to government bodies.
- To promote understanding and acceptance of people living with mental health and addiction issues
- To ensure that all people living with mental health and addiction issues have the opportunity to achieve the fullest sense of self-worth and participation by ensuring the availability of safe, secure, affordable supportive housing.
- To support the development of more safe, secure and affordable supportive housing.
- To maintain an operational model that is consumer-driven, consumer-motivated, and consumer-centred – which involves drawing mental health and/or addiction consumer/survivors into all facets of decision making, as well as validating each unique and important consumer/survivor life story.
- To ensure that all of our programs and decisions empower the Dream Team.
- Housing as a human right
- Equity and diversity
- Every individual’s contribution
- Having fun
The Dream Team is comprised of four working groups (Research, Public Education,
Advocacy, and Example) and two committees (Administrative and Finance and
Fundraising). To participate in a speciﬁc area of help, and based on their interests, each member is required to join up to two working groups and, if they choose, one
Research: The research group conducts projects in cooperation with other organizations on topics related to mental health and housing. These projects aim, in part, to inform such individuals as policy makers and funders. In addition, we want to ensure that consumer survivors play a central role in designing and conducting research about our community. Past research projects include “We Are Neighbours,” (2008)
“Enabling All Ontarians to Live With Dignity,” (2012) and “What Stops Us From Working?” (2011) (Please see the Reports section of this website to learn more about The group plans to undertake a study that aims to help ensure the economic independence of consumer survivors by increasing their access to employment that provides a living wage, career advancement opportunities, and supportive, discrimination free environments. This “Inclusive Employment” study will begin once we obtain adequate funding, for which we are currently preparing to apply. In the meantime, the group is already underway in another study which involves developing a tenants’ bill of rights for people living in supportive housing. We envision that this bill of rights, which we hope supportive housing agencies in Toronto will adopt, will be used both as a tool for tenants to hold onto their homes, and as a baseline for what constitutes quality supportive housing.
Public Education: This group creates educational videos and conducts workshops for the education of front-line service workers, like police ofﬁcers and hospital administrative staff, as well as trainee doctors, nurses and social workers in university and college programs. The group is focusing on emerging topics that have signiﬁcance to the mental health and housing sector. So far, the Dream Team has rolled out these presentations in Loyalist College, Brock University and Centennial College. More speciﬁcally, the group is working on specialized presentations around topics such as stigma, poverty, homelessness, housing, and relating consumer survivors’ perspectives about undergoing treatment. The group ties together the important linkages of people who have lived experience with mental health and addiction issues in creating and delivering these public education endeavors.
Advocacy: In attendance at media events, court hearings, political proceedings and the like, this group lends its voice, in an advocacy role, in support of housing and human rights promotion. The group engages in active participation in associations and networks to promote actions and lobbying on anti-stigma, poverty, housing and related Pursuant to the proposed Bill 37, the Planning Amendment Act (Enabling Municipalities to Require Inclusionary Housing) the group is in the process of meeting with local councilors in order for them to advocate with the Dream Team that housing developers be mandated to develop residential buildings in which a certain percentage of the units are designated for people who need affordable housing. The advocacy group is also exploring the idea that supportive housing agencies become involved with this initiative by agreeing to provide supports for those people in the units who need it.
Example: Focusing on charitable outreach, this group is exploring the feasibility of the Dream Team offering some kind of service in the future. For example, the group is hoping to provide mentorship for youth orientated groups which provide services for young people who are experiencing issues such as homelessness or mental health. Another possible project includes helping to establish Dream Team satellites outside of Toronto who we will train to carry on work similar to what the Dream Team currently does. And yet another possible project might involve managing a small plot of land to grow vegetables for organizations that deal with homelessness.
Administrative Committee: This committee deals with issues relating to membership, staff and relations with our sponsor, Houselink. All issues related to recruitment, orientation and training of members are handled by the committee. As well, the process of hiring, evaluating and overseeing staff, Peer Workers and placement students is all organized by the committee. With respect to Houselink, the committee helps lay out the ground work for the sponsorship agreement.
Finance and Fundraising Committee: This committee’s job is to examine monthly budget statements to make sure spending is on track, provide leadership on drafting annual budget for approval by membership, take the lead to R.F.P (request for proposal) spending, decisions and honoraria, and other fundraising–as well as to approve spending decisions. This committee also busies itself with developing the annual budget, approving expenditures over $500, and working with staff on grant applications.
The Executive Committee: The chairs of each working group and committee sit on the executive committee which is responsible for the daily operations of the Dream Team and ensuring that the organization is on track with its strategic plan. The executive committee also sets the agenda for the Dream Team’s monthly general members’ meeting, and each chair advises his or her working group or committee on the work that has to be done along with coordinating activities and meetings. Major decisions that affect the entire organization are made by all Dream Team members at the general members’ meetings.