The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has approved short-term funding to support the Kwae Kii Win Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), being operated by Shelter House Thunder Bay.
The North West LHIN will supply one-time funding for the Kwae Kii Win MAP for the continuity of service, and will engage with community stakeholders to ensure that this organization is aligned with current evidence-based practices, service delivery models and is positioned for long-term success.
To date, the MAP in Thunder Bay has demonstrated its effectiveness in a number of ways. Client evaluations indicate that MAP participants were more likely to retain housing, and experienced increased safety and quality of life compared to life on the streets, in jails, shelters, or hospitals. Clients describe the MAP as a safe place characterized by caring, respect, trust and a non-judgmental approach with a sense of family and home.
NorWest Community Health Centres has been instrumental to the Kwae Kii Win MAP since 2012, providing support with physicians, nurses and therapists.
MAPs are a harm reduction approach that involves the regular administration of alcohol in order to stabilize and moderate alcohol intake. This approach can help to reduce binge drinking and the consumption of non-beverage alcohol found in personal hygiene products.
MAPs have shown significant improvements in the quality of life of their clients. Thunder Bay’s MAP is currently tasked with serving clients with severe alcoholism and associated chronic issues, whose needs have not been met through other programs.
Kwae Kii Win is a 15-bed MAP which has provided supportive living for people experiencing homelessness and alcoholism since it opened its doors in 2012. Supportive housing, combined with accessible health care, nutritious food and psycho-social supports, reduce binge drinking and the associated stress on emergency services.