Community Homes for Opportunity (CHO)

Effective July 1, 2018 the program formerly known as Homes for Special Care became the Community Homes for Opportunity Program.

Community Homes for Opportunity (CHO) is a supportive housing program for people with serious mental illness within the community, who may require 24 hour supportive care. The CHO program is available to individuals within St. Joseph’s Health Care London’s catchment area and is intended to assist tenants by providing appropriate housing and support services within their own community and to help them achieve and maintain housing stability that is safe and affordable. 

The original program was established in 1964 as Homes for Special Care (HSC). In 2018, the HSC model underwent a modernization update (lead by St. Joseph’s Health Care London in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other community partners) to meet the changing needs of the population it serves and was re-named Community Homes for Opportunity. The goal of modernization was to integrate the program into the community mental health and addictions supportive housing sector. This allows tenants of the program to have greater integration and access to community programs which assist them to live as independently as possible.

The CHO program is person-centred, focusing on and supporting each tenant’s unique and changing needs. The program takes a recovery-based approach by providing access to support services in the home and within the community, aiming to improve and/or stabilize an individual’s physical and mental health, with a goal of fostering independence and integration into the community. The program offers opportunities for tenants to enhance the quality of their daily living, personal growth and development and improve life skills through participation in a variety of activities and programs. This includes empowering tenants to be active participants in their own goal setting and planning, while ensuring the opportunity to make individual choices.

The community mental health and supportive housing agencies listed below, within Southwestern Ontario, are responsible for the provision of supports and services to CHO tenants.

Eligibility Criteria

CHO homes are available for adult residents of Ontario with serious mental illness (may include addictions) who require housing and support services to live as independently as possible including those who need some assistance with activities of daily living (personal care, housekeeping, health care, medication assistance, etc.) and some level of support on a 24 hour basis.  Priority is provided to people who, in addition to a serious mental illness, are homeless or at risk of homelessness or in hospital and who are unable to fully care for themselves independently due to their illness.   

CHO applications

All applications to the CHO program are made through the below listed local agencies. To apply for a CHO program within your region, please contact the applicable community mental health housing agency in your region directly.


Housing Agency

Contact information




CMHA Middlesex Programs


St. Thomas-Elgin


CMHA Elgin Housing


Owen Sound-Grey Bruce

Hope Grey Bruce

Grey Bruce Mental Health & Addictions Services


Stratford- Huron Perth

CMHA-Huron Perth

CMHA Huron Perth


Kitchener- Waterloo Wellington


Thresholds Homes & Supports


Last updated: Thu, 2018-07-26 15:01