Usually, when homeless people go to homeless shelters, they are asked if they have a drinking or drug problem, never about a gambling problem. Flora Matheson was looking into the connection between homelessness and gambling and that there was hardly any data about this topic.
In an effort to find research and find the link, she approached the Good Shepherd Ministries. Good Shepherd Ministries helps the homeless, and she wanted to know if they have anyone who may have a gambling problem. She found out that they never asked about that kind of addiction. They only focus on alcohol and drug addiction.
Since then, the St. Michael Hospital and Good Shepherd staff and researchers did the research and found that 35% of the homeless people at the Ministry have a gambling problem. They interviewed 264 individuals, and most of them were men. This lead to them starting a three-year trial program at the Good Shepherd shelter to help with gambling addiction.
The Gambling Addiction Program
With the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the project working with 55 people currently. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is overseeing the project. Amongst other things, the people participating in the project will receive counselling and also attend Gambling Anonymous meetings.
As part of the team, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has also stepped in produce a guide that will go to service providers for homeless shelters on how to help people with a gambling addiction.
The goal of the project is to find the best way to help those who are homeless and have a gambling addiction. According to Matheson, gambling is a hidden problem amongst homeless people. She also said that the public had done a lot to lessen the stigma around substance abuse and mental health but not for a gambling addiction.
Here at Can Casinos, we always advise our readers to practice responsible gambling. This helps in making this activity fun and entertaining. Here is our guide about responsible gaming for more information.