Homelessness has challenged society for countless generations. In Canada, many agencies, governments, and citizens have committed their time and efforts to intervene in homelessness and create solutions to alleviate the suffering of homeless people. Housing First has come to the fore. It is a model which places people in homes without any preconditions. The philosophy of this model dictates that the mental health and addiction issues which destabilize many homeless people stabilize once a person has a stable home of their own. And, when supported properly, previously homeless people see their condition improve even that much more rapidly.
However, despite the overwhelming evidence and political support for Housing First, seeing it to fruition is slow. Our municipalities still rely heavily on emergency shelters to provide services to people that are chronically or episodically homeless, offering support programs through short-term residential programs. Cities often cite a lack affordable housing options in which to place people in Housing First apartments, despite the fact that they often pay more to emergency shelters on a monthly basis than they would to rent individual apartments. Another reason is that funding formulas and policies still favour outdated ways of attending to the needs of the homeless population and need fine-tuning to adapt to funding Housing First directly.
Join us September 18th and 19th to talk about a better way forward for reducing poverty, preventing homelessness, and promoting Housing First.
Tickets are available for the Sept. 19th symposium alone, with or without lunch provided. To purchase tickets, visit: https://www.housingfirstottawa.com/
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