Westside (West Kelowna) Point-in-Time Count 2018 Report
On Monday July 23rd, 2018, the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation coordinated with community agencies and volunteers to conduct the Westside’s first-ever Point-in-Time (PiT) Homeless Count. The 2018 Point-in-Time Count is a significant step towards better understanding homelessness on the Westside. It provides valuable information about the individuals experiencing or struggling with homelessness in the community. In addition to important data on living conditions, the 2018 PiT Count allowed the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nations as partnering agencies to build and foster relationships with service providers and improve the capacity to conduct PiT Counts in the future. The lessons learned from the 2018 count will inform future counts and housing initiatives on the Westside.
09/19/2018 - 13:05
Making the Shift Year One Report
Making the Shift (MtS) is a multi-year, multi-phase project, with many moving parts. But it is more than that; Making the Shift is a reimagining of our response to youth homelessness through social innovation in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people. Making the Shift is a partnership between A Way Home Canada (AWHC) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) with the support of MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MaRS). This work is intended to support a monumental shift away from the current system of responding to youth homelessness through a crisis response and instead, move towards a system that values prevention and moving young people out of homelessness quickly, with all of the supports necessary for wellness and healthy transitions to adulthood. It is crucial to understand that obtaining housing for vulnerable young people is not the “be-all-end-all” of this work – rather, it’s about supporting and encouraging young people to become healthy adults at their own pace. This is how we will make real, lasting change.  To read the complimentary report, Funding Services for Homeless Youth in Canada: Review and Recommendations, click here.
09/17/2018 - 14:06
Funding Services for Homeless Youth in Canada: Review and Recommendations
The response to homelessness is growing more sophisticated. Communities are recognizing that homeless youth differ from homeless adults and are beginning to reshape their services to reflect that fact. Many are seeking an end to homelessness rather than just mitigation of its harm. Some are collecting data and managing performance. The most advanced communities are pushing for a funding regime the respects their expertise. The federal government, the provinces and the territories fund providers to deliver homeless services. These central funders sometimes fund specific projects by specific providers. They sometimes pay providers a daily rate based on occupancy, known as a per diem (emergency shelters are often paid per diem). They sometimes channel money to communities and allow communities discretion over how to distribute the money. The third method is gaining ground, as illustrated by the federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Ontario’s Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative and Alberta’s Outreach Support Services Initiative. To read the complimentary Making the Shift Year One Report, click here.
09/17/2018 - 13:31
"Here We're Home": The WestEnd Commons Housing Model with Subsidized Supports 
In the context of a severe housing shortage facing low-income renters in Winnipeg and across Canada, WestEnd Commons is an innovative project that includes a 26-unit social and affordable housing complex in a low-income neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s inner city. This three-year case study explores how WestEnd Commons has influenced the lives of the residents, and what lessons can be learned from this particular model. It is clear that WestEnd Commons has had positive impacts on the families residing there. A key feature of WestEnd Commons is the range of social supports provided to residents. While there are challenges that this paper identifies, WestEnd Commons has nevertheless produced significant benefits for its residents. These include: housing stability, stronger social networks, reduced isolation, improved mental health, increased food security, labour market attachments, and increased financial stability. Each of these is significant, and in tandem they bolster families living on low incomes to better cope with the complex poverty they experience. The findings that arise from this three-year study make clear the importance of good quality social and affordable housing for people living on low incomes, and the necessary range of supports that enable them to thrive.
09/12/2018 - 10:14
A National Study of Indigenous Youth Homelessness in Canada
This study was designed to address the need for more detailed information about Indigenous homeless youth, a group overrepresented in the homeless population, using a national-level data set. Overall, such findings reinforce calls for Indigenous-specific interventions for these populations—including policy-driven prevention initiatives to address the legacy of colonization.
09/12/2018 - 10:07
Homelessness in Nanaimo: 2018 Point-in-Time Count 
The nationally coordinated 2018 PiT Count was funded through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and involved the collaboration of over 60 HPS-funded communities across Canada. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society (NRJHS), and United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) organized the second consecutive HPS PiT Count in Nanaimo. The count was held on April 18th, 2018. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, formed in 2015, includes a number of non-profit agencies, government bodies, faith groups and residents of the community. The Coalition was preceded by the ‘Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness’ which has been working to reduce homelessness in Nanaimo since 2001. The name change from ‘Working Group’ to ‘Coalition’ reflects a more proactive approach to the development and implementation of programs and services for the homeless
09/12/2018 - 09:56
Homelessness in Nanaimo: 2018 Point-in-Time Count 
The nationally coordinated 2018 PiT Count was funded through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and involved the collaboration of over 60 HPS-funded communities across Canada. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society (NRJHS), and United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) organized the second consecutive HPS PiT Count in Nanaimo. The count was held on April 18th, 2018. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, formed in 2015, includes a number of non-profit agencies, government bodies, faith groups and residents of the community. The Coalition was preceded by the ‘Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness’ which has been working to reduce homelessness in Nanaimo since 2001. The name change from ‘Working Group’ to ‘Coalition’ reflects a more proactive approach to the development and implementation of programs and services for the homeless
09/12/2018 - 09:56
"The One Thing That Actually Helps". Art Creation as a Self-Care and Health Promoting Practice Amongst Youth Experiencing Homelessness. 
Arts-based programming has increasingly been offered to youth experiencing homelessness in various service settings, often grounded in the belief that this type of programming can promote mental wellness and recovery, social inclusion, and life skills. Despite the ubiquity of such programs, there is limited research on the impacts and value of arts creation for youth who are homeless. Drawing on 23 in-depth interviews with youth experiencing homelessness and staff at a large youth homeless shelter, this study explores the importance, meanings, roles, and effects of art creation and art-based programming in the lives of youth who are homeless. Analysis identified five key ways that youth experiencing homelessness use the arts to cope with adversity and create meaning, including to: manage mental health challenges; cope with stress and homelessness; recover from trauma and create ‘safe spaces’; explore, express, and discover themselves; and develop positive self-esteem and hopefulness for the future. Findings revealed the complex and highly personal ways through which youth strategically use art creation as a self-care and health-promoting practice. These findings demonstrate the importance of developing arts-based interventions that employ a positive youth development approach and support youth's own self-care and meaning-making practices. Implications for practice and policy are discussed, including the need for art programs to build upon the positive arts-based practices youth are already employing in their efforts to improve their health, pursue their goals, and empower themselves.
09/05/2018 - 14:00
Bullying at School and on the Street: Risk Factors and Outcomes Among Homeless Youth
Though rates of bullying among general population youth are high, there is elevated prevalence among certain subgroups, in particular sexual minority homeless youth. Enduring bullying can have devastating consequences, including poor mental health, revictimization, and substance abuse. The current study compares risk factors (i.e., sexual orientation, gender, and child abuse) for being bullied both at school and on the street among homeless youth. We also examine the associations of both contexts of bullying (i.e., at school and on the street) with physical and sexual victimization while on the street, with illicit drug use. From July 2014 to October 2015, we interviewed 150 homeless youth aged 16 to 22 years in shelters and on the streets from two Midwestern cities. Our sample was 51% female and 22% identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). Results revealed that LGB youth experienced more frequent bullying at school and were more likely to have ever used one or more illicit drugs at least a few times compared with heterosexual youth. Moreover, youth who experienced more child abuse prior to leaving home were also victimized more often at school (school bullying) and on the street (street bullying). Young people who experienced more sexual and physical street victimization were more likely to report illicit drug use compared with those who had fewer street victimization experiences. Overall, youth who experience victimization in one context (i.e., home) are at heightened risk for being bullied in additional contexts (i.e., school). These findings have important policy and service intervention implications, such that service providers should attend to homeless youth’s multiple social contexts of victimization and the potential for youth’s illicit drug use as a coping mechanism.
09/05/2018 - 13:57
Beloved Community Village: Collorado Village Collaborative Evaluation Findings
From July 2017 - April 2019, the University of Denver's Burnes Centre on Poverty and Homelessness conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Colorado Village Collaborative's Beloved Community Village. The village is a tenant-led "tiny home" community for people experiencing homelessness.
09/05/2018 - 13:44
State of the Homeless 2018 (New York): How the City and State Can Tackle Homelessness by Bringing Housing Investment to Scale
New York City reached a grim new milestone at the close of 2017: Last December, an average of 63,495 men, women, and children slept in City homeless shelters each night – an all-time record. To put this in context, only nine cities in the entire state of New York have populations larger than New York City’s sheltered homeless population. Three-quarters of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters are members of homeless families, including 23,600 children. An 82 percent increase in homelessness over the past decade speaks to the severe shortage of affordable housing – fed by the combination of rising rents and stagnating incomes – along with devastating policy decisions that have limited access to affordable and supportive housing for homeless and extremely low-income New Yorkers.
09/05/2018 - 13:38
Aboriginal Homelessness Count in Metro Vancouver 2018
The 2018 Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Homeless Count (Count) is a 24-hour snapshot of Aboriginal Peoples who were homeless in the Metro Vancouver region on March 14, 2018. It also included people staying overnight in homeless shelters and those using homelessness services on the day of the Count. The purpose of the Aboriginal Homeless Count is to estimate the number of Aboriginal people who are homeless in the Metro Vancouver region, obtain a demographic profile of this population, and identify trends compared to previous counts. This current information will be used in the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee (AHSC) Community Plan update. Since 2002, homeless counts have been conducted across Metro Vancouver every three years. This is the first year the Federal government ran a dedicated Aboriginal count without appending it to a larger count. This dedicated Count required a rethinking of the overall methodology. This is discussed in detail later in the report.
09/05/2018 - 13:28
Whitehorse PiT Count 2018
For 24-hours, starting on April 17, 2018, the Yukon Planning Group on Homelessness and the Council of Yukon First Nations conducted its second Point-in-Time Count in Whitehorse, Yukon. This count was part of a broader initiative to measure homelessness across Canada, coordinated by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. More than 60 communities conducted Point-in-Time Counts between March and April 2018.
08/29/2018 - 16:55
Health Care for the Homeless Transgender Community: Psychiatric Services and Transition Care at a Student-Run Clinic
Transgender individuals disproportionately experience homelessness and health disparities, including lack of access to gender- affirming care. The student- run Lotus Wellness Center provides care to transgender individuals experiencing homelessness, including primary care, mental health stabilization, and transition via hormone therapy, while medical students learn of the unique health needs of this community.
08/29/2018 - 15:51
Vancouver Homeless Count 2018
As the following report by Urban Matters documents, the City of Vancouver’s 2018 point-in-time homeless count found 2,181 people homeless in Vancouver on March 14, 2018, with 1,522 people sheltered and 659 on the street. While the total number represents only a 2% increase from last year, it is nonetheless the highest number since the first regional homeless count in 2005, signaling a continuing and growing concern about the welfare of Vancouver residents who are marginalized and about how we respond to homelessness in our city. The report highlights that people who identify as Indigenous continue to be vastly overrepresented in homelessness in Vancouver. In 2018, the City’s collaboration with Lu’ma Native Housing Society and the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee on a coordinated count provided opportunities to explore new methods of engagement and to learn from our partners. For a comprehensive analysis of Aboriginal/Indigenous homelessness, please refer to the report on Aboriginal Homelessness – 2018 Count in Metro Vancouver. The count also shows that approximately one-half of respondents had been homeless for less than one year. This statistic points to the fluidity of homelessness. The fact that someone becomes homeless does not necessarily mean they will continue to be. The support people find to access social and supportive housing is vital to ensure that pathways out of homelessness are available to all.
08/29/2018 - 15:33
Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy
The Government of Canada has been focused on growth that benefits Canadians and investments that help develop the middle class and reduce poverty. Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made significant investments for children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians that are having immediate impacts on reducing poverty and making a difference in the lives of Canadians.
08/29/2018 - 14:48
Navigating Complex Implementation Contexts: Overcoming Barriers and Achieving Outcomes in a National Initiative to Scale Out Housing First in Canada
The scaling out of Housing First (HF) programs was examined in six Canadian communities, in which a multi-component HF training and technical assistance (TTA) was provided. Three research questions were addressed: (a) What were the outcomes of the TTA in terms of the development of new, sustained, or enhanced programs, and fidelity to the HF model? (b) How did the TTA contribute to implementation and fidelity? and (c) What contextual factors facilitated or challenged implementation and fidelity? A total of 14 new HF programs were created, and nine HF programs were sustained or enhanced. Fidelity assessments for 10 HF programs revealed an average score of 3.3/4, which compares favorably with other HF programs during early implementation. The TTA influenced fidelity by addressing misconceptions about the model, encouraging team-based practice, and facilitating case-based dialogue on site specific implementation challenges. The findings were discussed in terms of the importance of TTA for enhancing the capacities of the HF service delivery system-practitioners, teams, and communities-while respecting complex community contexts, including differences in policy climate across sites. Policy climate surrounding accessibility of housing subsidies, and use of Assertive Community Treatment teams (vs. Intensive Case Management) were two key implementation issues.
08/22/2018 - 11:41
Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:25
Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:24
Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:24
Evaluation of the Home Visiting Pilot for Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Care: FY 2018 Preliminary Report
In January 2015, the Home Visiting Task Force, a standing committee of the Illinois Early Learning Council, established a Home Visiting-Child Welfare Sub-Committee to design and implement a Home Visiting Pilot Program that would serve pregnant or parenting youth in foster care. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services contracted with Chapin Hall to conduct an implementation and outcome evaluation of the program. This report presents preliminary results from that evaluation.
08/22/2018 - 10:55
Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:47
Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:47
Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:46
Naloxone Risk Assessment Tool
BC is currently experiencing a public health emergency related to the unprecedented increase in opioid overdoses across the province. Many organizations are assessing whether their staff should carry or stock naloxone in the event employees, clients, or members of the public experience an overdose. This assessment provides tools for decision making including a template, a reporting template, and background information on naloxone and the public health emergency response.  Resources are provided for public and non-public sectors organizations.
08/21/2018 - 09:53
National Right To Housing Strategy Act - Draft Legislation
Draft legislation prepared by legal scholars and civil society experts that offers suggestions on how the right to housing could be incorporated into the proposed National Housing Strategy legislation, consistent with international human rights law, and including mechanisms through which people affected by homelessness and inadequate housing can bring complaints about systemic violations and require the government to respond.
08/15/2018 - 14:16
Open Letter on the Right to Housing
At a press conference in Ottawa on August 14, advocates released an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed by over 170 organizations and prominent Canadians urging the Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing by enshrining that right in upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation. The letter was penned by Amnesty International Canada, Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada, Canada Without Poverty, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, housing and homelessness researcher Emily Paradis, and the Social Rights Advocacy Centre. Supported by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, the letter outlines key requirements of right to housing legislation consistent with international human rights law. The letter also refers to draft legislation prepared by legal scholars and civil society experts that offers suggestions on how the right to housing could be incorporated into the proposed National Housing Strategy legislation, consistent with international human rights law, and including mechanisms through which people affected by homelessness and inadequate housing can bring complaints about systemic violations and require the government to respond.
08/15/2018 - 14:09
Addressing Intersecting Housing and Overdose Crises in Vancouver, Canada: Opportunities and Challenges from a Tenant-Led Overdose Response Intervention in Single Room Occupancy Hotels
We examined the acceptability, feasibility, and implementation of the Tenant Overdose Response Organizers program (TORO)—a tenant-led naloxone training and distribution intervention. This pilot project was implemented in privately owned single room occupancy (SRO) hotels that were disproportionately affected by overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 tenants who had participated in a TORO training session and administered naloxone to someone in their SRO hotel or had overdosed in their SRO hotel and received naloxone from another tenant. Focus groups were conducted with 15 peer workers who led the TORO program in their SRO building. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Ethnographic observation at SRO hotels involved in the intervention was also co-led with peer research assistants. Ten SROs were included in the study. The level of acceptability of the TORO program was high, with participants describing the urgency for an intervention amid the frequency of overdoses in their buildings. Overdose response training enhanced participants’ knowledge and skills, and provided them a sense of recognition. Additionally, the TORO program was feasible in some buildings more than others. While it provided important training and engaged isolated tenants, there were structural barriers to program feasibility. The implementation of the TORO program was met with some successes in terms of its reach and community development, but participants also discussed a lack of emotional support due to overdose frequency, leading to burnout and vulnerability. Our findings suggest that the TORO program was affected by social, structural, and physical environmental constraints that impacted program feasibility and implementation. Despite these constraints, peer-led in-reach overdose response interventions are effective tools in addressing overdose risk in SROs. Future housing interventions should consider the intersecting pathways of overdose risk, including how these interventions may exacerbate other harms for people who use drugs. Further research should explore the impacts of environmental factors on overdose response interventions in other housing contexts.
08/15/2018 - 14:04
The State of Homelessness in Australia's Cities: A Health and Social Cost Too High 
Since 2010, Australian homelessness services, largely operating in the inner city areas of Australian cities, have undertaken interviews with over 8,000 people sleeping rough or otherwise homeless in concentrated data collection efforts called Registry Weeks. First implemented by US homelessness services as part of campaigns to end homelessnessin US cities, Registry Weeks aim to develop a register of those who are homeless in areas in which homelessness services operate using a common interview schedule. The purpose of the register is for those who are homeless to be known by name and for their housing, health and social needs to be recognised to facilitate the organisation of localservices to assist people into permanent housing with necessary supports.The Australian homelessness services that initiated Registry Weeks in Australia shared the principles of evidence-based responses to homelessness, a focus on Housing First and rapid re-housing approaches, and the development of initiatives informed by robust data and research. The Vulnerability Index (VI) instrument, and following that, the VI-SPDAT (Service Prioritisation Decision Assistance Tool) were used in Registry Week collections as the means of collecting data. Findings from Registry Weeks have assisted agencies to prioritise services to those most in need. In recent times, homelessness agencies have moved away from conducting the VI-SPDAT interviews in set weeks and are now conducting interviews on a rolling basis. Over the seven years that the VI-SPDAT has been administered (2010-2017), 8,618 interviews have been conducted with 8,370 people experiencing homelessness across Australian capital cities and regional centres.The State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities: A Health and SocialCost Too High represents the first analysis of the consolidated Registry Week data across Australia. The consolidated Registry Week data provides the largest and richest collection of information on people experiencing homelessness in Australian capital and regional cities outside the Census and the national administrative data for homelessness services, the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection.The report aims to:1.Provide a profile of the backgrounds of people experiencing homelessness in Australia.2.Examine the length of time those interviewed have spent homeless and have been without stable accommodation.3.Assess the medical conditions and healthcare needs of those experiencing homelessness, their current use of healthcare, and the accompanying costs to the healthcare system.4.Understand the history of interaction with the justice system of those experiencing homelessness, and their current exposure to harm and risk.5.Examine the financial circumstances of those experiencing homelessness and their social needs.6.Detail in the words of those interviewed what they feel they need in order to be safe and well.7.Provide recommendations for future strategies and studies that aim to inform best practice approaches to ending homelessness in Australia
08/15/2018 - 13:59
Missed Opportunities: Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America
Missed Opportunities: Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America summarizes key lessons learned from conducting point-in-time counts of youth experiencing homelessness in 22 diverse counties across the United States. Youth counts can provide communities with valuable information about the number and characteristics of youth experiencing homelessness, including information about over-represented groups for whom specialized services might be needed. Additionally, by conducting annual or biennial youth counts, communities can identify changes over time in the local population of youth experiencing homelessness. This brief offers recommendations for conducting successful youth counts based on our experiences conducting counts and insights shared by our partner counties. We hope these recommendations will help more communities conduct youth counts that yield valuable data and drive positive change.
08/15/2018 - 13:48
Thompson, Manitoba 2018 PiT Count Report
This project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). The City of Thompson is the Community Entity (CE) designated by the HPS to report annually on the amount received. The 2014-2019 Community Plan of the Thompson Community Advisory Board (CAB) included the completion of Point in Time (PiT) Homeless Counts in 2015 and 2016 (Thompson Community Advisory Board for Homelessness, 2014). In 2016 the HPS supported coordinated community homeless counts in communities across Canada using the PiT Count methodology. These counts provide vital information to participating communities about their homeless population, and contribute to the understanding of homelessness in Canada. The HPS decided to provide the same support for a 2018 count. Between March and April 2018, over 60 communities across Canada, including Thompson, participated in Everyone Counts - the 2nd HPS Coordinated Point-in-Time Count. The findings from these communities will provide an unprecedented dataset on homelessness in Canada. The Thompson 2018 PiT count was administered through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thompson. Faculty members of the University of Manitoba Northern Social Work Program (NSWP) took the lead on designing the count, data analysis and the writing of the report. Twenty-six students of the NSWP, as well as the homeless, partners of this initiative, staff from CMHA and other agencies and community members took the enumeration training and volunteered on the day of the count
08/08/2018 - 12:48
Social Networks and Substance Use After Transitioning into Permanent Supportive Housing
Substance use disorders are common among persons experiencing homelessness, and research has identified social networks as important correlates of substance use in this population. Permanent supportive housing (PSH), particularly Housing First, which uses a harm reduction model not requiring substance abstinence, is a key solution for ending homelessness. However, conflicting evidence exists regarding the associations between moving into PSH and changes in substance use, and there is limited understanding of how networks may influence such changes. Using observational, longitudinal data from 421 persons before they moved in and over their first year in PSH (collected as part of a HIV-risk study), this paper assesses substance use change (alcohol, marijuana, and illicit drugs) and associations between perceived network characteristics and individual substance use. Substance use remained relatively stable among participants over their first year living in PSH, although illicit substance use reduced somewhat at six months compared to baseline levels (from 18.5%–14.5%) and marijuana use increased slightly at 12 months (from 26.6% at baseline to 32.9%). Substance use among social network members was consistently associated with individual-level substance use, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Specific network substance use characteristics, such as proximity, location met, and social support, had differential relationships with particular substance types. These findings provide longitudinal evidence that changes within substance-using social networks are associated with subsequent changes in individual use and underscore the importance of interventions aimed at promoting positive social relationships for formerly homeless persons and improving PSH’s social environments.
08/08/2018 - 11:09
Niagara Counts 2018: Homelessness Point-in-Time Count Report
Niagara Counts 2018, Niagara’s second homelessness Point-in-Time (PiT) Count, was conducted in late March 2018. A PiT Count is intended to provide a snapshot of homelessness at a single point in time through a homeless enumeration and an accompanying survey (i.e. collected information on the demographics, experience, and services needs of Niagara’s self-identified homeless population). Niagara’s PiT Count found 625 people to be experiencing homelessness on March 27th, 2018, in emergency and Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters, in transitional housing programs, and in unsheltered locations. This number includes 144 children aged 0-15 years.
08/08/2018 - 10:54
Striving and Dreaming: A Grounded Theory of the Transition to Adulthood for Cross-Systems Youth
The transition to adulthood is an underresearched topic for cross-systems youth, defined as young people who have experienced homelessness, child welfare system involvement, and educational challenges. This qualitative study explored processes of resilience in the transition to adulthood for cross-systems youth aged 18 to 24 (n = 20). Analysis of in-depth interviews using a grounded theory open coding process revealed two thematic concepts, striving and dreaming. As illustrated in two case studies, striving was characterized by participants having specific educational and career goals and making strategic choices about programs and resources. In contrast, the dreaming concept indicated participants having little understanding of the steps and resources needed to achieve their goals. Implications for practice include the importance of helping cross-systems youth maintain supportive relationships with families of origin and peers to enhance striving, and the use of motivational interviewing to assist emerging adults in gauging their readiness and motivation to set and pursue goals.
08/01/2018 - 11:07
Homeless Families Research Brief: Child Separation Among Families Experiencing Homelessness
Families who use emergency shelters are more likely than poor, housed families to experience separations between children and their custodial parents (Cowal et al., 2002). Family composition may change over time. For example, a parent may send his or her children to live in what he or she perceives to be a safer environment with relatives or family friends rather than subjecting children to the experience of a shelter. In other cases, child welfare agencies may have removed children from their parent’s custodial care. Compared with housed families in the same city, children who enter emergency shelter are more likely to have a subsequent out-of-family placement (Park et al., 2004; Cowal et al., 2002; Hayes, Zonneville and Bassuk, 2013). A previous brief in this series found that in 24 percent of families staying in shelter, at least one child was separated from the family (Walton, Dunton and Groves, 2017). This brief provides a more detailed examination of these families and their children before and after the initial shelter stay, revealing more extensive and persistent levels of child separation. It gives detailed characteristics of separated children and examines whether future child separation after a shelter stay is related to either housing instability or previous separations.
08/01/2018 - 11:04
The 2018 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time Count
The PiT Count took place throughout the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), commonly referred to as Greater Victoria. This report uses those two terms interchangeably. There are 13 municipalities and one electoral area that make up the Greater Victoria region. Contact was made with enforcement officials in jurisdictions throughout the region. This year, Sooke actively participated in the PiT Count, with three survey locations and an outdoor/unsheltered survey route.
08/01/2018 - 10:55
Creating Housing for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking
In Canada, both women and children are the primary victims of human trafficking and are trafficked largely for sexual exploitation. It has been estimated that approximately 800 people are trafficked into Canada annually and another 1,200 to 1,500 are trafficked through Canada. Some social service organizations have estimated that as many as 16,000 Canadians are trafficked annually. While we do not know how many of these are children, it has been estimated, “about 1,300 Canadian children reported ‘missing’ by the RCMP are trafficked annually for sexual activity”.  Toronto has been identified as one of the ‘principle destinations’ or ‘transit points’ for individuals, both foreign nationals and domestic residents, who have been trafficked. Carly Kalish from the All Saints Church Community Centre has seen first-hand human trafficking in Toronto. According to Kalish, human trafficking is happening, “on Church St., in Regent Park and in Dundas Square”. Timea Nagy, founder of Walk With Me Victim Services Organization supports this by saying that human trafficking is occurring in Toronto every day, “Look around at the hotels, motels, restaurants, massage places. Human trafficking is all around you, it’s just not seen”.
07/30/2018 - 10:24
The Health of Foreign-Born Homeless Families Living in the Family Shelter System
Foreign-born families face challenges following migration to Canada that may impact their well-being and lead them to homelessness. Yet, there is limited research on the experience of homelessness in this population. The purpose of this paper is to examine the health of foreign-born families staying in the emergency shelter system in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and compare their experiences to Canadian-born homeless families who are also living in shelters.
07/24/2018 - 16:59
Understanding Organizations Serving Runaway and Homeless Youth: A Multi-setting, Multi-perspective Qualitative Exploration
Runaway and homeless youth (RHY) are dependent on the specialized settings that locate, engage, and serve them. Yet, little research has focused on the features of effective settings for RHY. The present qualitative study, grounded in the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, explored characteristics of higher quality organizations for RHY and gaps that remain from staff and RHY perspectives. A total of 29 diverse settings serving RHY in New York State were randomly selected for participation, and ranked on a quantitative program quality index. Within settings, we conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with program administrators (N = 30) and other staff (N = 24). Focus group interviews were conducted with RHY (N = 13 focus groups; N = 84 RHY). Data were analyzed using a systematic content analysis approach that was both theory-driven and inductive, comparing higher to lower quality settings. We found all settings provided vital services and experienced challenges, but higher quality settings ameliorated challenges through (1) a youth-centered program philosophy equally understood by staff and RHY; (2) developmentally appropriate relationships between staff and RHY that promoted autonomy; (3) a focus on short- and long-term goals within anticipated crises; and (4) ongoing internal quality assessment procedures. Within lower quality settings we found (1) difficulties retaining effective staff and (2) a primary focus on basic services and managing crises, but less attention to emotional support, exacerbated by (3) funding and other challenges emerging from the larger environment. The present study extends the literature on organizations for RHY by identifying characteristics of higher quality settings, and challenges that remain.
07/24/2018 - 16:51
What We Learned About Poverty in B.C.
Between October 30, 2017, and March 31, 2018, government connected with people living in poverty and their friends, families and advocates, as well as community organizations, service providers, local governments, Indigenous communities, businesses, industry associations and unions. This report reflects the voices of people from B.C. who participated in the poverty reduction consultation. They brought forward a wide range of experiences, ideas, opinions, comments and suggestions about how we can reduce poverty, reduce barriers, and build a better B.C. The consultation was designed to give people multiple opportunities to participate. People were encouraged to share their experiences with honesty and openness, and to share their ideas for improvement, without restraint. The intention of holding a broad public engagement process was to ensure that we heard a wide range of ideas, but most importantly, the process was designed to facilitate the participation of people living in poverty whose voices too often go unheard.
07/24/2018 - 16:19
2018 Alberta Point-in-Time Homeless Count
In February 2017, the Government of Canada announced Everyone Counts 2018, the second HPS Coordinated Pointin-Time Count, to be held between March and April 2018. This Count offers a snapshot of homelessness in each city. Participating communities used a common set of survey questions to improve the understanding of homelessness across Canada. 7 Cities already coordinates biennial Point-in-Time Counts in order to provide a current snapshot of the homeless population in Alberta and to enable examination of how homelessness might change over time. The increasing alignment drives better consistency of data and limited comparability that should improve over time. Ultimately, the information gained from Alberta’s coordinated Point-in-Time Count helps to inform solutions to support the goal of ending homelessness in communities. Communities in Alberta conducted the count on April 11, 2018: the third provincially-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness to date, and the first nationally-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness using the national methodology. Implementation was coordinated locally by a lead organization in each of the seven largest communities. The information produced during the Point-in-Time Count is utilized to complement administrative data from the provincial and local Homeless Management Information Systems, information from service providers, and research and evaluation projects to form a more complete picture of homelessness in a given community. In isolation, a Pointin-Time Count is not intended to produce an exact number of people experiencing homelessness as not everyone will be found, and some of those who are approached are not willing to participate. This emphasizes the need for ongoing system data particularly from corrections and health systems to inform planning.
07/24/2018 - 16:13
Child Poverty by Federal Ridings
For nearly 30 years, Campaign 2000 has documented the failure of good intentions to end poverty. In the lead up to Canada’s first federal Poverty Reduction Strategy, Campaign 2000 reveals a disturbing picture of the magnitude of child poverty in every federal riding. The latest data paint a stark portrait of inequality in Canada with high- and low-income families living in close proximity while divided by wide social and economic gaps that leave too many children hungry, sick and stressed beyond their years. Troublingly, this report shows that the federal ridings with the highest levels of child and family poverty are home to a higher proportion of Indigenous,1 racialized and immigrant communities and lone-parent led families. This correlation signals the persistence of discrimination and systemic inequalities that translates to higher unemployment, lower labour market participation rates and higher proportions of renters and people spending more than 30% of their income on housing. The presence of child and family poverty in every riding in Canada demands strong and decisive federal action through the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Clearly, every community, every Member of Parliament and all political parties have a stake in the eradication of poverty. Canadians expect a strong strategy that will effectively number poverty’s days, so we can stop counting the number of children in poverty. Child and family poverty is a big problem in Canada and it demands a big response.
07/24/2018 - 16:08
Housing First: The Role of Permanent Supported Accommodation for People Who Have Experienced Chronic Homelessness 
The objective of this study was to determine whether a ‘housing first’ permanent supported accommodation was effective in improving housing stability, continuity of care and reducing mental health admissions for persons experiencing chronic homelessness with psychosis. Conclusions: The accommodation of chronic homeless persons with psychosis in a ‘housing first’ permanent supported accommodation lead to increased housing stability and optimism, improved continuity of care and reduced psychiatric admissions
07/18/2018 - 18:38
Understanding Risk Environments in Permanent Supportive Housing for Formerly Homeless Adults
In this study, we used ethnographic methods and a risk environment framework to consider how contextual factors produce or reduce risk for substance use with a sample of 27 adults who recently moved into permanent supportive housing (PSH). Most apparent was how the social and physical environments interacted, because most participants focused on how having an apartment had dramatically changed their lives and how they interact with others. Specific themes that emerged that also involved economic and policy environments included the following: isolation versus social engagement; becoming one’s own caseworker; and engaging in identity work. This study underscores the scarcity yet importance of research that examines the multiple types of environment in which PSH is situated, and suggests that a better understanding of how these environments interact to produce or reduce risk is needed to develop optimal interventions and support services.
07/18/2018 - 18:34
Exploring Domestic Violence Survivors’ Need for Transitional Housing
Throughout the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, with women disproportionally more likely to experience fear, concern for their safety, injury, and need for medical care and housing services (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, & Stevens, 2011). Research suggests that domestic violence (DV) is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. The lack of stable housing further increases women’s risk of re-victimization (Jasinski, Wesely, Mustaine, & Wright, 2002; Kannah, Singh, Nemil, & Best, 1992; Wilder Research Center, 2016). The intersection of poverty and DV is particularly impactful to survivors seeking safety and healing from trauma (Sokoloff & Dupont, 2005). Economic burdens, including the need for safe housing, limit survivors’ mobility and options when seeking help after victimization. Historically, DV shelters have been a safe haven for women escaping violence who are also experiencing housing instability or unsafe housing (Baker, Niolon, & Oliphant, 2009; Panchanadeswaran & McCloskey, 2007). A small but compelling body of evidence has established efficacy for core DV services provided by shelters to increase safety, well-being, and economic stability for survivors (Sullivan, 2016; Sullivan & Virden, 2017a, 2017b). However, on average, DV shelters limit the length of stay to 30 or 60 days, with extensions for certain circumstances (NNEDV, 2016; Sullivan & Virden, 2017a). This time frame is unfortunately too short for many survivors to obtain the resources they need to live safely (Sullivan & Virden, 2017b). One approach for DV survivors who require housing assistance and supportive services for a longer period of time is transitional housing (TH). Transitional housing provides an apartment or rental unit, along with rental assistance and supportive services for up to two years, allowing survivors time to work on any barriers they face to securing permanent housing and to heal from the trauma they have experienced (U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, 2015). TH units may be at a single-site with shared facilities such as laundry rooms (facility-based) or units may be scattered sites allowing survivors to live various places in the community. Supportive services are voluntary but tend to include advocacy, educational and financial support, life skills classes, counseling and peer support (Baker et al., 2009). For single-site programs, these services are often offered on-site. Another approach for DV survivors is rapid re-housing (RRH). RRH allows DV survivors to locate their own apartment and to receive rental assistance and supportive services for a period of time. After the rental assistance ends, the survivor can stay in the unit if they can pay the rent on their own. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has stated that “rapid re-housing grant funds may be used to provide short- and/or medium-term rental assistance and accompanying, limited supportive services, as needed, to help an individual or family that is homeless move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing” (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2013, p. 5). Medium assistance is defined as lasting up to 2 years.Exploring Domestic Violence Survivors’ Need for Transitional Housing 2 of 9 While the efficacy of shelter and other DV services have been evaluated in part (see Sullivan, 2016), almost no research has been conducted assessing transitional or rapid rehousing for DV survivors. Therefore, this study explored the ways in which DV survivors experienced a TH program that they were currently enrolled in, as well as their perceptions about whether RRH would have been a good fit for them given different durations of rental assistance and supportive services.
07/18/2018 - 18:31
Permanent Supportive Housing: Evaluating the Evidence for Improving Health Outcomes Among People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Chronic homelessness is a highly complex social problem affecting communities around the country. The scope of the problem is substantial, with an estimated nearly 87,000 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in 2017. The report addresses a fundamental question: To what extent have permanent supportive housing programs improved health outcomes and affected health care costs in people experiencing homelessness? The report also describes policy and program barriers that affect the ability to bring the permanent supportive housing programs and other housing models to scale to address housing and health care needs. This report will stimulate research and federal action to move the field forward and advance efforts to address chronic homelessness and improved health in this country.
07/18/2018 - 18:17
National Housing Strategy: 2018 Bilateral Agreements with Provinces and Territories
Provinces and territories deliver and cost-match federal funds from the National Housing Strategy through bilateral agreements with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These agreements align with the new vision for housing under the National Housing Strategy, and they are more flexible and in line with expected outcomes. Presented below are the new bilateral agreements that have been signed with the provinces and territories.
07/18/2018 - 18:03
Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population
Annually, 100 million people experience homelessness worldwide. Most adults that are struggling with homelessness are living to age 50 years or older and need age-appropriate screening for cancer. Cancer-related death in homeless adults is twice as high as the average in the adult population in the USA. However, few studies have examined the rates of and barriers to cancer screening in homeless people. This Review explores cancer-related health disparities between homeless people and the general population by providing a review of data and definitions relating to homelessness, an analysis of barriers to screening in this population, and a discussion of the current and potential interventions and strategies to improve cancer screening in homeless individuals. Recommendations include implementing appropriate data collection methods for this population, supporting cancer screening in places where homeless people usually access care, assessing the effectiveness of approaches to increasing cancer screening in homeless people, and addressing adequate housing as a fundamental social factor.
07/11/2018 - 16:14
The Invisibility of Disability for Homeless Youth
A largely unexplored complexity in the lives of youth who have experienced homeless is the presence of intellectual, developmental and/or learning disabilities. Although emerging research shows that youth with cognitive disabilities are more likely to become homeless and that rates of cognitive disabilities are higher among the homeless population than the population in general, exploring the intersection of disability and homelessness for youth has not been a priority. In this study, a critical disability and systems failure lens is brought to bear on the vulnerability of youth who experience this intersection. Based on interviews with key informants in the disability, homelessness, education, employment and child welfare sectors in three sites in Ontario, Canada, the invisibility of disability among homeless youth is brought to light. We explore the ways youth with a disability in the homelessness sector are made vulnerable, the insurmountable barriers to getting access to the requisite assessment for disability services and the siloed nature of the homelessness and disability service sectors. An argument is made that “working outside the box” to assist youth to navigate significant system disjunctures is insufficient.
07/11/2018 - 16:10
National Map Project
Communities across Canada are faced with the growing crisis of youth homelessness. Many organizations are operating in isolation of a larger network. This National Map is a dynamic resource that will enable organizations to connect. Each organization on this map have completed a survey that gives a brief overview of their programs and services. The organizational summaries are searchable by: city/town, population size, program/service, organization name.
07/11/2018 - 16:07
Winnipeg Street Census 2018
The Winnipeg Street Census 2018 marks the second attempt to gain a comprehensive view of homelessness in Winnipeg. In order to end homelessness we need to understand it. The Street Census is not an attempt to count the total number of people experiencing homelessness but provide a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness, some of the reasons for it and barriers to exiting it. Between April 17 and 18, we surveyed approximately 1500 individuals experiencing homelessness.
07/11/2018 - 16:03
A Roof Over My Head 2018 Enumeration Report
Information on homelessness is essential to understand the nature and extent of homelessness in the City and County of Peterborough, the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, to plan services, and measure progress towards ending homelessness. The 2018 Homelessness Enumeration Report provides a profile of homelessness in our community based on the homelessness count and surveys conducted in the City and County of Peterborough from March 20th to March 23rd, 2018.
07/11/2018 - 15:53
Reliability and Validity of the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) in real-world implementation
This study examined the reliability and validity of the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT), a widely-used assessment of the health and social vulnerabilities and housing needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. Homeless Management Information System data were obtained for 1495 individuals who were administered the VI-SPDAT between 2014 and 2016. Subsamples were selected for reliability and validity assessments. Results suggest there are challenges to the reliability and validity of the VI-SPDAT in practical use. VI-SPDAT total scores did not significantly predict risk of return to homeless services, while type of housing was a significant predictor. Vulnerability assessment instruments have important implications for communities working to end homelessness by facilitating prioritization of scarce housing resources. Findings suggest that further testing and development of the VI-SPDAT is necessary.
07/04/2018 - 14:34
Vancouver Street View
Vancouver Street View is an interactive site where you can see how homelessness has increased in the Greater Vancouver Area. The technology allows users to toggle between Google Street View images taken in the last four years to see how the number of people identifying as homeless has increased across Metro Vancouver.  The site hopes to encourage people to contact their local municipality to show support for social housing in their neighbourhood.
07/04/2018 - 14:00
Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population
Annually, 100 million people experience homelessness worldwide. Most adults that are struggling with homelessness are living to age 50 years or older and need age-appropriate screening for cancer. Cancer-related death in homeless adults is twice as high as the average in the adult population in the USA. However, few studies have examined the rates of and barriers to cancer screening in homeless people. This Review explores cancer-related health disparities between homeless people and the general population by providing a review of data and definitions relating to homelessness, an analysis of barriers to screening in this population, and a discussion of the current and potential interventions and strategies to improve cancer screening in homeless individuals. Recommendations include implementing appropriate data collection methods for this population, supporting cancer screening in places where homeless people usually access care, assessing the effectiveness of approaches to increasing cancer screening in homeless people, and addressing adequate housing as a fundamental social factor.
07/04/2018 - 11:23
“School definitely failed me, the system failed me”: Identifying Opportunities to Impact Educational Outcomes for Homeless and Child Welfare-Involved Youth
Children and youth who experience homelessness and child welfare involvement may experience high mobility, disruption of relationships with family and peer networks, and social stigma, all of which can have a negative impact on educational success for these youth. In this study, we explored the perspective of youth who were involved with child welfare and homeless serving systems, and who had experienced school challenges. Youth (n = 20) between the ages of 18 and 24 participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews. Using a life course framework, we asked youth about their experiences in these multiple systems across developmental stages, and asked them to highlight what might have been helpful to their educational outcomes. Data analysis was conducted by a research team of three scholars who each had expertise in these varied systems, and member checking was completed with four youth to increase credibility of the findings. Results highlighted the importance of youth having supportive adults in their lives, suggesting an opportunity for systems to better mobilize and support caring adults, including informal supports and professional staff within these systems that can advocate for youth. Results also stress the importance of using a trauma-informed approach with cross- systems youth, rather than punitive approaches to discipline that tend to exacerbate negative educational outcomes. Many of these youth felt like they had to “make it on their own,” underscoring the need to better connect youth to existing resources within their communities and building on youths' strengths and protective factors, in order to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable youth.
07/04/2018 - 09:09
Family Care Curriculum: A Parenting Support Program for Families Experiencing Homelessness
In the United States, families with children characterize the fastest growing portion of the homeless population. Parenting for families experiencing homelessness presents unique challenges since families facing homelessness are disproportionately more likely to experience a myriad of interpersonal and contextual stressors that heighten the risk of parents engaging in suboptimal parenting approaches.  This article describes the development and implementation of the Family Care Curriculum (FCC) train-the-trainer parenting support program specifically designed to support positive parenting in families experiencing homelessness. Description The FCC is a 6-week theory-based parenting intervention aimed to create positive shifts in parental attitudes to enhance sensitive and nurturing parenting and positive parent–child relationships. FCC assists parents in reflecting on how their own experiences contribute to some of their parenting beliefs, patterns, and behaviors. Parents are coached to imagine and understand the emotions, attachment, and developmental needs behind their children’s behaviors so they can maintain empathic and nurturing parenting responses in the context of cumulative and chronic stress. Parents are supported through learning to engage in self-care. A unique and important feature of the FCC is the inclusion of a culturally sensitive approach that takes into consideration the effects of racism, classism, and oppression on parent–child relationships. 
07/04/2018 - 09:02
Factors Associated with Drop-In Center Utilization Among Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Drop-in centers for homeless youth take a low barrier approach to addressing both their basic needs (e.g., food, hygiene, clothing) and higher level needs (e.g., substance use treatment, mental health care, HIV/STD-related programs). Prior studies indicate that youth who use drop-in centers show improvements in health-related behaviors over time. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with drop-in center attendance in this population.
07/04/2018 - 08:57
International Forum Report 2018
During Congress 2018 in April, CHRA hosted an International Forum for which a number of Canadian and international housing experts came together to discuss common issues in social and affordable housing. From that Forum, CHRA has produced a summary report providing an overview of the current state of housing – including broader market housing challenges, jurisdictional reflections, and homelessness – in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
07/04/2018 - 08:50
A Survey of Mental Disorder in the Long-Term, Rough Sleeping, Homeless Population of Inner Dublin
ObjectivesHomelessness causes huge distress to a vulnerable population and great concern to wider society. The aim of this study was to reflect the prevalence of mental disorder within a subset of the homeless population in Dublin. MethodLong-term rough sleepers in Dublin were identified by the relevant non-statutory agency (Dublin Simon Community’s Rough Sleepers Team). The authors attempted to assess all the identified individuals employing traditional clinical methods. ResultsWe managed to assess 16 of the 22 identified individuals. We detected no formal disorder in ~30%, severe mental illness in ~30% and either alcohol or substance misuse in another ~30%. We detected dual diagnosis (co-occurrence of severe mental illness and alcohol or substance misuse) in 10%. ConclusionMost but not all long-term rough sleepers in Dublin had a formal mental disorder identified. Just under one-third had a severe mental illness. This suggests that individualised patient centred health and social care will be required on a case by case basis in the long-term rough sleeping population.
06/26/2018 - 15:26
A Shared Housing Agenda: Priorities for Ontario in 2018
Ontario has a housing crisis that affects people of diverse ages, income levels, family types, and cultural backgrounds. Affordable housing of decent quality is essential for the health and wellbeing of Ontarians. Some of the most critical barriers to safe and affordable housing are intersectional, especially around gender and racial discrimination. Young millennials getting by on low-paid or contract work struggle to find an affordable apartment, or to save for a home. Newcomers face similar barriers. People living on low wages, pensions or benefits, or in precarious jobs, find few options they can afford. People with disabilities – physical, mental health, age-related, or other – have particular needs not being met by the current housing system. People from racialized communities experience compound disadvantage in the housing market, and also discrimination. The same is true for Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities. These issues require provincial leadership. Ontario can help make sure our housing market works well. It can help people who are struggling to afford market rental or to leave homelessness behind. In a province with escalating housing costs, housing supply shortfalls, but strong economic growth, it is time for action. Building on the opportunity the National Housing Strategy provides, action by Ontario can support local activity to meet community needs. Six housing priorities stand out for Ontario in 2018. These have been identified by the organizations named on this document. They are not listed in order of priority, and action is needed on all of them to meet the housing needs of Ontarians. In sum, this housing crisis is not inevitable. With action and alliances, Ontario can help create a system of housing that meets the needs of community, especially those who are disproportionately more vulnerable than others.
06/26/2018 - 15:11
Moving Forward: Recommendations for Community Action
MOVING FORWARD – Recommendations for Community Action is the outcome of Community Conversations on Poverty in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, in which more than 500 community members came together to talk about poverty - their experience of it, what is working, what isn’t and how to end it. This is the SECOND report in a series of reports informed by the Community Conversations. The rst report LEANING IN – Community Conversations on Poverty in Hastings Prince Edward, is a summary of the stories we heard in the conversations. This action planning document, which will guide planning and future considerations for the eradication of poverty in our community, is the second community report on poverty.
06/13/2018 - 14:58
Temporary Accommodation in Scotland: Interim Report
On behalf of HARSAG, Social Bite (an Edinburgh-based social enterprise with a mission to end homelessness in Scotland, whose co-founder Josh Littlejohn is a member of HARSAG) commissioned Heriot-Watt University’s Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) to conduct research mapping the current landscape, with a view to enabling an assessment of the nature of the transformation to TA in Scotland now required. The overall aim of the study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current situation, including key stakeholder and TA resident perspectives, to inform future policy development. This interim report details emerging findings from the initial stages of the study, these being: a review of existing research and literature; qualitative interview with 16 expert key informants; and analysis of national statistics on TA type and usage.
06/13/2018 - 14:53
Clinical and functional characteristics of young adults living in single room occupancy housing: preliminary findings from a 10-year longitudinal stud
Objective Young adults living in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels, a form of low-income housing, are known to have complex health and substance problems compared to their peers in the general population. The objective of this study is to comprehensively describe the mental, physical, and social health profile of young adults living in SROs.  Methods This study reports baseline data from young adults aged 18–29 years, as part of a prospective cohort study of adults living in SROs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Baseline and follow-up data were collected from 101 young adults (median follow-up period 1.9 years [IQR 1.0–3.1]). The comprehensive assessment included laboratory tests, neuroimaging, and clinician- and patient-reported measures of mental, physical, and social health and functioning.  Results Three youth died during the preliminary follow-up period, translating into a higher than average mortality rate (18.6, 95% CI 6.0, 57.2) compared to age- and sex-matched Canadians. High prevalence of interactions with the health, social, and justice systems was reported. Participants were living with median two co-occurring illnesses, including mental, neurological, and infectious diseases. Greater number of multimorbid illnesses was associated with poorer real-world functioning (ρ = − 0.373, p < 0.001). All participants reported lifetime alcohol and cannabis use, with pervasive use of stimulants and opioids.  Conclusion This study reports high mortality rates, multimorbid illnesses, poor functioning, poverty, and ongoing unmet mental health needs among young adults living in SROs. Frequent interactions with the health, social, and justice systems suggest important points of intervention to improve health and functional trajectories of this vulnerable population.
06/13/2018 - 14:49
Peer support critical elements and experiences in supporting the homeless: A qualitative study
Peer supporters are individuals with lived experience and are an integral part of health care systems, providing support to those affected by various phenomena such as homelessness and addictions. However, little is known about the critical elements that underpin peer support interventions. This qualitative study sought to understand the critical elements of intentional peer support with a homeless population, voiced by those who provide and/or receive this support. Twenty‐nine participants from 4 different homeless charities in England were interviewed about their experiences of providing/receiving peer support and what they felt were critical factors to its success. Participants defined peer support as an experience‐based relationship, built upon mutual understanding, empathy, and support. Thematic analysis was utilised to in developing 6 themes. Results identified peers' persistence in developing unique experience‐based relationships, providing social support, role modelling recovery, and peers' motivations were perceived as important factors involved in peer support. It was also found that peers described benefitting from helping, such as, undergoing transformative identity developments that helped them to escape homelessness. Through the retelling of their stories, they create meaning and restructure their autobiography, attributing experiences of homelessness as a catalyst for positive changes in their lives. Limitations and future research are discussed.
06/13/2018 - 14:44
Advisory Committee on Homelessness Final Report
The Advisory Committee on Homelessness, chaired by Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), was announced in June 2017. Consisting of 13 members from across the country with varied backgrounds, the Committee has worked diligently since the announcement through conference calls, online collaboration, in‑person meetings and attendance at regional roundtables.  Committee members bring a wealth and diversity of experience to the table. Their collective membership spans policy, advocacy and community service provision, and many have been in this field for over 20 years. In addition, two members have their own lived experience1 of homelessness and bring that perspective, and the perspective of their clients living in homelessness, to bear on each discussion. 
06/12/2018 - 14:12
Submission to the National Consultation on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing
As the details of the National Housing Strategy roll out, the Government of Canada continues to make its intentions clear: the forthcoming housing strategy will be rooted in a human rights-based approach. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness lauds this commitment.  During this consultation phase, we offer our perspective on how the government can develop, implement and most importantly, guarantee a right to housing. To do so, they must go beyond a human rights approach. To see an end to homelessness in Canada — and access to safe, affordable housing for all — the Government of Canada must make an explicit, actionable and judiciable commitment to housing as an inalienable human right.  Toward this effort, we make recommendations. These recommendations are formed in consultation with A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and other knowledgeable stakeholders. We draw heavily from the recommendations made by Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing. The strategies set forth by the Special Rapporteur provide a strong, principled foundation from which to build the National Housing Strategy on.
06/08/2018 - 10:38
Seen or Unseen? The Role of Race in Police Contact among Homeless Youth
Abstract Homeless youth are at an increased risk of police contact—being stopped by police and arrested, yet it is less clear if this interaction is patterned by race. The current study draws on diverse scholarship to examine three possible effects of race on homeless youths’ interaction with police: that non-White homeless youth are more likely (disproportionate minority contact/symbolic assailants), less likely (out-of-place policing) or no different than White youth (master status) to experience police contact. Using the Midwest Longitudinal Study of Homeless Adolescents, we examine homeless youths’ odds of self-reported police harassment and arrest. Non-White homeless youth are more likely to report police harassment and arrest, but living on the street neutralizes these racial disparities. Further, prior police harassment is linked to subsequent arrest, operating similarly for White and non-White homeless youth. We discuss the implications of these findings for advancing scholarship on the challenges faced by homeless youth.
06/01/2018 - 09:55
Australian Homelessness Monitor 2018
This study provides an independent analysis of homelessness in Australia. It analyses changes in the scale and nature of the problem and investigates the incidence of the many social, economic and policy drivers of homelessness.  The findings of this study can be summarised in terms of: (1) the changing scope and pattern of homelessness (2) the nature of broader social and economic drivers that condition the risk of homelessness, especially for some groups such as low-income households, and (3) the particular relevance of policy at federal, state and territory levels in both exacerbating and easing homelessness.  This is especially the case in respect to housing policies, income support policies and policies that support homelessness programs. Attention is also given in the study to Indigenous homelessness with a particular emphasis on remote communities.  We demonstrate how public policies, particularly housing and welfare policies, are firstly, critical drivers of homelessness in Australia, and secondly, areas that represent significant opportunities to demonstrably reduce homelessness. Thus, drawing on the prominent UK researchers such as Fitzpatrick and colleagues, who were involved with the original UK Homelessness Monitor, the report acknowledges the complexity of the causes of homelessness, but it similarly identifies a suite of public policy changes that can improve the housing and life outcomes of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
06/01/2018 - 09:35
More than a number: The scale of youth homelessness in the UK
Data collected for the Youth Homelessness Databank provides a clearer picture of the true scale of youth homelessness in the UK. There is no accurate source of information on the scale of youth homelessness in the UK. In England, while the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)1 publishes annual statistics on the number of young people accepted as statutorily homeless, this only represents a small proportion of the total number of homeless young people. Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank addresses this data shortfall by creating a central source of information on the number of young people presenting to their local authority as homeless or at risk of homelessness, as well as those who are assessed and subsequently accepted as being statutorily homeless or recorded as being successfully helped in some other way. Centrepoint has built a databank that can help to form a more accurate understanding of the state of youth homelessness in the UK. This report includes a number of findings from the Youth Homelessness Databank data. More data can be found on the Youth Homelessness Databank website2, the open access source of all data collected at a local, regional and national level. It was launched in 2015 and has since accumulated data on the majority of local authorities in England dating back to 2012/13.
06/01/2018 - 09:27
BC CORONERS SERVICE DEATH REVIEW PANEL: Review of MCFD-Involved Youth Transitioning to Independence
Adolescence is a time of exciting and intense change. The process of moving from childhood to adulthood can be challenging for young people. For many young people, family continues to provide guidance and support well into early adulthood; however, youth transitioning to adulthood from government care face an additional, simultaneous transition from government support to independence often without similar resources, family support or guidance, and at a younger age than their peers. This report reviews the deaths of vulnerable youth and young adults who had been in government care or were receiving extensive support services and who died during their transition to adulthood. For the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016, 1,546 youth and young adults aged 17-25 years died from causes classified as accidental, suicide, undetermined, natural or homicide. Of these deaths, 200 (13%) deaths were among youth and young adults who at age of death or at age of majority were in care, were former children in care, or were on independent youth agreements or receiving extensive support services. These young people leaving government care died at five times the rate of the general population of young people in British Columbia. Although many young people leaving care or youth agreements show great resilience and strength as they transition to adulthood, they also face many more challenges than their peers. They may lack a family support network, have limited or no financial resources, often lack life skills, and often have not completed school. They may suffer from low self-esteem and be scarred by trauma associated to violence, childhood neglect and/or abuse. To better understand these deaths and identify prevention opportunities, a death review panel appointed under the Coroners Act was held in December 2017. The circumstances of 200 young people who died while transitioning to independence from government child services between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2016 were reviewed in aggregate. The panel was comprised of professionals with expertise in youth services, child welfare, income support, mental health, addictions, medicine, public health, Indigenous health, injury prevention, education, law enforcement and academia. The review found:  A lack of documented transition planning for youth leaving care or on youth agreements;  A disproportionate number of Indigenous young people died;  High rates of suicide and drug overdose deaths;  High rates of health and mental health issues;  Lower completion of educational attainment; and,  Barriers (systemic and personal) to successfully transition to independence. The panel identified four key areas to reduce the deaths: 1. Extending service supports based on the young person’s needs; 2. Improved communication between service providers with the goal to increase engagement of youth; Page 4 3. Engage with youth on service planning and policy development; and, 4. Monitor outcomes and use findings to support service planning and policy changes.
06/01/2018 - 09:18
Palliative care for homeless people: a systematic review of the concerns, care needs and preferences, and the barriers and facilitators for providing palliative care
Background Homeless people often suffer from complex and chronic comorbidities, have high rates of morbidity and die at much younger ages than the general population. Due to a complex combination of physical, psychosocial and addiction problems at the end of life, they often have limited access to palliative care. Both the homeless and healthcare providers experience a lot of barriers. Therefore, providing palliative care that fits the needs and concerns of the homeless is a challenge to healthcare providers. This systematic review aims to summarize evidence about the concerns, palliative care needs and preferences of homeless people, as well as barriers and facilitators for delivering high quality palliative care.
05/30/2018 - 10:35
Where Will We Live? Ontario's Affordable Housing Crisis
The percentage of renters is increasing in Ontario and across Canada. Renters in Ontario now constitute over 30% of the total population. In the City of Toronto, almost half of all households rent their home. This increase has been largely driven by a growing proportion of renters within the younger generations. Over half of Ontario households between the ages 25 to 34 are renters. This trend may be due to the increasing cost of homeownership, the lack of well-paid and secure jobs and the increasing numbers of single-person households. Low- and moderate-income households are also much more likely to rent their homes. 71% of households with income below $20,000 are renters, compared to only 10% of households with income over $100,000. A significant percentage of renters across Ontario and in Toronto are facing unaffordable housing costs that limit their ability to spend money on other life necessities. Too many people are choosing to forgo a healthy diet or the medication they need just to keep a roof over their head. Many facing rising rents are being displaced from their communities and many more are commuting longer hours between home and work. The road to homelessness for renters living on lower incomes is a stark reality if they lose their job or face a health challenge. Renters are facing a combination of rising housing costs, stagnating incomes, and limited access to subsidized housing. Renters tend to have much lower incomes compared to homeowners. As rental housing costs continue to rise, all levels of government must focus on alleviating the burden of unaffordable housing, especially for low-income renters. Solving the affordable rental housing crisis in our province requires long-term commitment to targeted housing policies and investments that focus on the needs of low- to moderate-income renter households. Rents have risen across Ontario over the past 20 years, particularly since 2011. We know for a fact that our affordable rental housing crisis will not be solved by building more condominiums or luxury purpose-built rentals. We need a combination of targeted policies and investments including funding for social housing, government support for non-profit housing, and strong protections in place for tenants. Preserving the status-quo is no longer an option for the hundreds of thousands of renters struggling every day to keep a roof over their head.
05/29/2018 - 12:07
Correlates of Treatment Readiness Among Formerly Incarcerated Homeless Women
Abstract Treatment readiness is a key predictor of drug treatment completion, rearrest, and recidivism during community reentry; however, limited data exist among homeless female offenders (HFOs). The purpose of this study was to present baseline data from a randomized controlled trial of 130 HFOs who had been released from jail or prison. Over half (60.8%) of HFOs had a treatment readiness score of ≥40 (n = 79, mean [μ] = 40.2, SD = 8.72). Bivariate analyses revealed that methamphetamine use, psychological well-being, and high emotional support were positively associated with treatment readiness. On the contrary, depressive symptomatology and depression/anxiety scores were negatively associated with the treatment readiness score. Multiple linear regression revealed that depressive symptomatology was negatively associated with treatment readiness (β = −0.377, p = .001). Further analyses revealed that the effect of emotional support on treatment readiness was mediated by depressive symptomatology.
05/29/2018 - 11:55
Begging for Change: Begging Restrictions Throughout Washington
Abstract The act of panhandling, commonly known as begging, is a form of speech protected by the United States Constitution. But Washington’s cities are increasingly enacting laws that criminalize begging, despite courts finding these laws unconstitutional under both the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause. This brief surveys begging restrictions, assessing their scope and legality. This report offers the first statewide analysis of laws that restrict begging.Among the brief's key findings is that the vast majority (86%) of Washington cities criminalize begging; the majority (83%) of these laws result in a criminal charge if violated, leading to serious collateral consequences that impact one’s eligibility for housing and employment. Many of these laws would not survive constitutional scrutiny.
05/29/2018 - 10:00
Promising Practices for Serving Philadelphia’s Students Who Experience Homelessness
FPSN originally developed Promising for Providers Serving Homeless Students in 2010 as a resource for building strong partnerships between family service providers and schools, and this is version II. Promising Practices offers a framework to help providers develop and maintain relationships with key personnel in their children’s schools, provide academic support, lower truancy, and improve parental involvement. Key terms are in bold and defined in the glossary at the rear of this booklet. Some Promising Practices might work differently in congregate emergency (EH) and transitional housing (TH) sites than in scattered housing or Rapid Rehousing sites. Scattered site locations may need to adapt the practices based on feasibility and what best suits the needs of the residents.
05/29/2018 - 09:39
City of Richmond Housing Affordability Profile: Affordable Housing Strategy 2017–2027 Companion Document
Housing affordability continues to be a critical issue both regionally and at the local level. Richmond’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2017–2027 has been updated to reflect current and future needs of the community and to align with City and regional planning goals. Central to this update is an understanding of the housing affordability context in Richmond and the needs of existing and future residents so that anticipated policy recommendations can effectively address identified gaps and priorities. The Housing Affordability profile helps to identify current and emerging trends relative to Richmond’s housing market and highlights affordability needs through an analysis of available current demographic and housing data. The document combines quantitative analysis with feedback from a broad range of stakeholders including the public, senior government and the private and non-profit housing sectors, to determine housing gaps and needs in Richmond. The Housing Affordability Profile is one of two companion documents to the Affordable Housing Strategy 2017–2027.
05/28/2018 - 15:53
Chronic Homelessness
As our understanding of homelessness has evolved, we have come to recognize chronic homelessness as a relatively small and “solvable” problem that affects, on average, about 10 to 15 percent of people who experience homelessness. This vulnerable population of people with disabilities is composed primarily of adults living on their own, who either experience homelessness for prolonged periods of time or have repeat episodes of homelessness. Chronic homelessness, in addition to being extremely debilitating to those who experience it, can be very expensive to homeless systems and public systems, including health care and criminal justice. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness on a single night fell by 27.4 percent, compared with a 14.5 percent reduction in homelessness overall. This decline coincided with a national, bipartisan commitment to increase investment and capacity to serve people experiencing chronic homelessness. Since 2007, the number of permanent supportive housing (PSH) beds dedicated to people experiencing chronic homelessness nearly quadrupled, from 37,807 to 149,005. Efforts to target PSH to the most vulnerable people and to prioritize chronic homelessness in programmatic and policy responses also intensified, and randomized-controlled trials have demonstrated that PSH keeps people with behavioral health issues from returning to homelessness. Providing permanent affordable housing to individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness has alsoproven to significantly reduce use of expensive acute care services such as emergency shelters, hospital emergency rooms, and detoxification and sobering centers. As a result, PSH can lead to substantial savingsand, among the heaviest service users, may even be a cost-neutral investment, with the cost of housing subsidies and services offset by reductions in other spending for public services. What are the implications for policymakers and practitioners? From the available evidence, we can draw some clear lessons for policy and practice: Coordinated entry and assessment can be used to differentiate the majority of people experiencing an acute housing crisis from the minority experiencing chronic homelessness, and to refer each group to the appropriate interventions. Accurate identification of those who are most likely to develop chronic patterns of homelessness in the future, in order to provide services to preempt this shift, is not feasible at this time. Treatment and care for people experiencing chronic homelessness should be the primary motivators for any intervention. However, communities that are also hoping to realize cost savings by addressing chronic homelessness will limit savings potential if they only focus on those who are already high-cost users of crisis response systems. Practitioners should consider referring all adults who are homeless with disabilities to rapid re-housing, with the option to transition to PSH as continuing need is revealed, consistent with a Progressive Engagement approach (i.e., initially providing a small amount of assistance to resolve a housing crisis, and then additional assistance as needed after individual assessment). Among the current population of people experiencing chronic homelessness, PSH is still the best fit, possibly with rapid re-housing as a bridge. As individuals with chronic patterns age, they will need more medical services and assistance with activities of daily living rather than behavioral health services. Symptoms of severe mental illness or substance abuse may become less acute, but people develop other severe chronic health conditions. Scalable interventions should be part of the solution, including aggressive enrollment in SSI and shallow rent subsidies when PSH is not available.
05/14/2018 - 14:20
Housing in Canada's big cities
Background  In March 2017, The City of Calgary published Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply, 2015/2016, providing comprehensive information on Calgary’s housing supply, covering the entire spectrum of housing in Calgary, from emergency shelter spaces to market homeownership. Through this report, a more complete picture of the entire housing system in Calgary became visible, enabling a broader understanding of housing supply trends, gaps and implications and specifically, the current state of the affordable housing segment. This report is intended to compliment the 2017 Housing in Calgary report by helping to understand in what ways Calgary’s housing supply and affordability compare to other big cities, the possible reasons why it is different, and what municipal tools are currently being used to impact supply and affordability in Canada’s largest cities. In 2016, Calgary City Council unanimously adopted Foundations for Home: Calgary’s Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy 2016 – 2025, along with an Implementation Plan for the period 2016-2022. This research may inform several initiatives in the Implementation Plan, as well as the prioritization of tactics by Calgary’s Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC), and could be used to strategically plan future development in the city. Additionally, this research could be used to inform discussions and advocacy with other orders of government. Key Findings  Housing in Calgary is very different from housing in Canada’s other big cities, with the:  second-highest rate of homeownership at 71%, compared to the average of 59%,  second-lowest proportion of households living in rental housing at 29%, compared to the average of 41%,  lowest proportion of households living in subsidized housing, at 2.9%1 , compared to the average of 5.3%,  second-highest per cent of households living in single-family housing, at 56.3%, compared to the average 36.5%,  lowest per cent of households living in high-rise apartment buildings, at 7%, compared to the average 20%,  lowest supply of purpose-built rental apartments, representing 7% of housing supply, compared to the average 16%, and the  lowest supply of co-operative housing, at 0.3%, compared to the average of 1%.
05/14/2018 - 13:41
Missed Opportunities: Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America
Missed Opportunities: Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America details the unique challenges faced by young people experiencing homelessness who are pregnant or parenting. Our findings suggest that many of the nearly 4.2 million adolescents and young adults in America who experience some type of homelessness during a 12-month period are pregnant or young parents. Many of those young parents are homeless with their children, and pregnant and parenting youth experiencing homelessness are a particularly vulnerable population. Supporting these young people and their families is critical to ending homelessness among youth in the U.S.
05/14/2018 - 13:31
Bridging Hospital and Community Care for Homeless Adults with Mental Health Needs: Outcomes of a Brief Interdisciplinary Intervention
Abstract Objective: This study examines health and service use outcomes and associated factors among homeless adults participating in a brief interdisciplinary intervention following discharge from hospital. Method: Using a pre-post cohort design, 223 homeless adults with mental health needs were enrolled in the Coordinated Access to Care for the Homeless (CATCH) program, a 4- to 6-month interdisciplinary intervention offering case management, peer support, access to primary psychiatric care, and supplementary community services. Study participants were interviewed at program entry and at 3- and 6-month follow-up visits and assessed for health status, acute care service use, housing outcomes, mental health, substance use, quality of life, and their working alliance with service providers. Linear mixed models and generalized estimating equations were performed to examine outcomes longitudinally. Additional post hoc analyses evaluated differences between CATCH participants and a comparison group of homeless adults experiencing mental illness who received usual services over the same period. Results: In the pre-post analyses, CATCH participants had statistically significant improvements in mental and physical health status and reductions in mental health symptoms, substance misuse, and the number of hospital admissions. The strength of the working alliance between participants and their case manager was associated with reduced health care use and mental health symptoms. Post hoc analyses suggest that CATCH may be associated with statistically significant improvements in mental health symptoms in the study population. Conclusions: A brief interdisciplinary intervention may be a promising approach to improving health outcomes among homeless adults with unmet health needs. Further rigorous research is needed into the effectiveness of brief interventions following discharge from hospital.
05/14/2018 - 13:25
What do homeless transition-age youth want from housing interventions?
Abstract Housing-led interventions have become recognized as a best practice for addressing homelessness among adults, yet whether and how they apply to transition-age youth (TAY) is less clear. The purpose of the present study is to expand on a burgeoning literature that has provided marginalized TAY an opportunity to voice their perspectives on housing-led program design. The goal of the study it to build on the existing literature that has predominantly used individual qualitative interviewing by using a focus group methodology in which group interaction can generate data and insights that may not emerge in individual interviews. Focus groups (n = 4) were conducted with 18 youth. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts was conducted using independent and co-coding procedures. Three overarching and interrelated themes emerged from the focus groups: (a) personal responsibility and deservedness, (b) rising and falling together, and (c) needing individualized support. These findings suggest that TAY preferences for housing and services are not necessarily consistent with the homeless adult population and that youth may be looking for a more supportive housing environment.
05/14/2018 - 12:56
Conditional Families and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth Homelessness: Gender, Sexuality, Family Instability, and Rejection
Abstract Existing research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth homelessness identifies family rejection as a main pathway into homelessness for the youth. This finding, however, can depict people of color or poor people as more prejudiced than White, middle‐class families. In this 18‐month ethnographic study, the author complicates this rejection paradigm through documenting the narratives of 40 LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. The author examines how poverty and family instability shaped the conditions that the youth perceived as their being rejected because of their gender and sexuality. This rejection generated strained familial ties within families wherein the ties were already fragile. Likewise, the author shows how being gender expansive marked many youth's experiences of familial abuse and strain. This study proposes the concept of conditional families to capture the social processes of how poverty and family instability shape experiences of gender, sexuality, and rejection for some LGBTQ youth.
05/14/2018 - 12:45
2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index
Nearly half of Canadian renter households are spending more than the recommended 30 per cent of their income on housing while nearly one in five are spending more than 50 per cent of their income on housing, putting a growing number of families and individuals at a crisis level of spending and at risk of homelessness. The information comes from the 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index, a comprehensive database of rental housing statistics released today by a national partnership of housing associations, credit unions, and municipal associations, developed using the latest census data from Statistics Canada. The Index tracks everything from average rental costs, to how rental housing spending compares with income, to overcrowding for over 800 cities and regions through an easy to access web portal. The tool is designed for governments, local planners, housing organizations, and the general public to view an accurate picture of the rental housing market in communities across the country.
05/14/2018 - 12:35
Missed Opportunities: LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America
Missed Opportunities: LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in America highlights research related to the specific experiences of young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and face homelessness. We learned that, compared to heterosexual and nontransgender youth, LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented among the nearly 4.2 million youth and young adults in America who experienced some form of homelessness during a 12-month period. They also face a higher risk of early death and other adversities. On the positive side, this research points to actionable opportunities to better meet the needs of LGBTQ young people in our collective efforts to end youth homelessness. Key Findings - Overview LGBTQ youth in America are highly diverse and experience homelessness* differently. Nevertheless, several key findings about their experiences point the way toward policies, systems, and services that LGBTQ youth need: • LGBTQ youth had over twice the rate of early death among youth experiencing homelessness. • LGBTQ youth are at more than double the risk of homelessness compared to non-LGBTQ peers. • Youth who identified as both LGBTQ and black or multiracial had some of the highest rates of homelessness. • Among youth experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ young people reported higher rates of trauma and adversity. • Transgender youth often face unique and more severe types of discrimination and trauma. The research also showed that most LGBTQ youth became homeless not in the immediate aftermath of “coming out” but in large part as the result of family instability and frayed relationships over time. Lastly, young people's sense of whether service agencies were safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ youth often informed their decisions about whether to engage with them. These findings signal opportunities for preventing homelessness and underscore the importance of services that help young people re-establish positive and reliable connections in their lives. 
05/10/2018 - 14:46
Human Trafficking Prevalence and Child Welfare Risk Factors Among Homeless Youth: A Multi-City Study
The Field Center completed a three-city study as part of a larger initiative by Covenant House International to research human trafficking among homeless youth encompassing nearly 1,000 young people across 13 cities. The Field Center interviewed a total of 270 homeless youth, 100 in Philadelphia, 100 in Phoenix, and 70 in Washington, DC, to learn about the prevalence of human trafficking, and the history of child maltreatment, out of home placement, and protective factors among those who were sex trafficked or engaged in the sex trade to survive. Of those interviewed, 20% were victims of human trafficking, including 17% who were victims of sex trafficking and 6% who were victims of labor trafficking. Fourteen percent engaged in “survival sex” to meet their basic needs. A total of 36% of those interviewed reported engaging in a commercial sex act at some point in their lives.
05/07/2018 - 16:02
Homeless to Housed in a Hurry: Extending the Use of Diversion to Help Families Exit Homelessness
Since 2014, Building Changes has tested Diversion as an approach to help families exit homelessness. Our Diversion pilots in King and Pierce counties served a combined 1,898 families. Results drawn from our evaluation of those pilots are highlighted in two publications, titled Homeless to Housed in a Hurry. One publication is an overview of Diversion and the other is a case study of the Pierce County experience. Our data reveals Diversion costs less and takes less time to get families successfully housed, and that the vast majority of the families that obtained housing through Diversion did not return to homelessness within a year. We conclude that Diversion is an effective and efficient approach for resolving the homelessness of some families.
05/07/2018 - 15:55
‘This Is the View When I Walk into My House’
This article argues for the utility of phenomenology in accounting for the manner in which spatial methods yield insights into the everyday lived experiences of young people that are not as easily accessible through more traditional qualitative methods such as interviewing. Spatial methods, defined as methods that focus on the everyday spatial experiences of young people and methods that ask youth to position themselves in space, have been used by the author in a variety of research projects, and also incorporate certain visual methods. Phenomenological concepts such as the spatial perspective, the web of relations and opaque subjectivity are helpful in understanding not only that these methods work well but why they are so effective. The article also addresses Pierre Bourdieu’s critique of phenomenology, responding to his concern that phenomenology might be susceptible to ignoring or overlooking the social and political contexts that shape experiences.
05/07/2018 - 15:43
Sanitizing Public Space in Olympic Host Cities: The Spatial Experiences of Marginalized Youth in 2010 Vancouver and 2012 London
This article is based on a cross-national qualitative study of homeless and street-involved youth living within Olympic host cities. Synthesizing a Lefebvrian spatial analysis with Debord’s concept of ‘the spectacle’, the article analyses the spatial experiences of homeless young people in Vancouver (host to the 2010 Winter Olympics) and draws some comparisons to London (host to the 2012 Summer Olympics). Tracing encounters with police, gentrification and Olympic infrastructure, the article assesses the experiences of homeless youth in light of claims made by Olympic proponents that the Games will ‘benefit the young’. By contrast, the authors argue that positive Olympic legacies for homeless and street-involved young people living within host cities are questionable.
05/07/2018 - 15:27
Envisioning Democracy: Participatory Filmmaking with Homeless Youth
This paper explores the democratic potential for participatory filmmaking with homeless youth, as well as the constraints and dilemmas associated with this visual method. Theorizing democracy through the work of Hannah Arendt and Pierre Bourdieu, the paper approaches democracy not as an end, but rather as a process that seeks to lessen social injustice. Bourdieu's work helps us appreciate, however, that this process is constrained by structures of inequality that shape access to the political dispositions that enable such engagement. Consistent with other research on low‐income and marginalized young people, this study found that homeless youth engage with democracy through forms of community participation and mutual support, and are disinclined to orient toward liberal democratic structures such as voting and political parties, which they see as harmful or problematic. With a focus on one particular dilemma faced by the research team—namely, the question of how to make sense of and represent the issue of legalizing marijuana, which had been signaled by the youth participants as of primary political importance to them—the paper uses Arendt and Bourdieu to discuss how participatory filmmaking can help to expand the space of appearances available to homeless youth in Canadian society, and create a space at a shared table of understanding with middle class power brokers.
05/07/2018 - 15:12
Social Ties and the Incidence of Homelessness
Abstract Although almost all homeless people are poor, most poor people do not experience homelessness. We use a detailed national survey to explore the role of social ties—including connection to relatives, friends, and religious community—in explaining why only a subset of poor adults fall into homelessness. We find that lifetime incidence of homelessness is reduced by 60% for individuals with strong ties along each of these dimensions. Ties to relatives are most important, followed by ties to religious community, whereas ties to friends are not associated with reduced incidence of homelessness. We also find that among currently low-income individuals, social ties are not associated with income, providing evidence that our results are not explained by unobserved variation in historical depth of poverty that is potentially correlated with our measures of social ties.
05/02/2018 - 09:45
Spring 2018: FEANTSA Homeless in Europe Magazine
The recent Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2018 by FEANTSA and the Abbé Pierre Foundation finds that housing exclusion continues to be a growing problem in Europe, resulting in an increasing demand for support and increased pressure on emergency services. The numbers of people experiencing homelessness has continued to rise in almost all EU countries. A deterioration in the living conditions of extremely vulnerable families has led to children becoming the largest group of people in emergency shelters, with the numbers of women, young people, those with a migration background, and the working poor, becoming increasingly numerous among the homeless population. Housing affordability and liveability are emerging as the most challenging social policy issues in Europe, with the ability to access housing adversely affecting young people, those with dependent family members, and migrants. Shelters are the physical interface of the staircase approach for people experiencing homelessness, with a succession of preparatory interventions, from initial reception to social reintegration. Despite this key role, many shelters are often rundown and equipped with low quality and second-hand furniture, reflecting an image of exclusion and instability. They lack privacy and come with the expectation of cohabitation with strangers. Emergency accommodation is supposedly a temporary solution although, in reality, it prolongs precarious living situations and rarely leads to well-being, recovery and social integration. The following articles provide an insight into the relationship of those using sheltered accommodation, those providing and staffing the shelter and the very building itself, as well as an opportunity to better understand some of the national realities and challenges faced by the homelessness sector professionals in different European Member States.
05/02/2018 - 09:20
Promising Practices: 12 Case Studies in Supportive Housing for People with Mental Health and Addiction Issues
To showcase the expertise in the sector, and to help support implementation of new supportive housing, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO), Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario) and the Wellesley Institute (WI) partnered to develop this resource guide. The 12 case studies share replicable, scalable and adaptable examples of how providers have overcome implementation challenges to meet the needs of their clients and communities. Promising Practices shares 12 case studies we know to be representative of a sector that is committed to high quality, high value services – and is ready to expand to better meet the growing needs of Ontarians with mental health and addiction issues.
05/02/2018 - 09:02
Addressing Veteran Homelessness to Prevent Veteran Suicides
Abstract The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is shifting its focus from ending veteran homelessness to preventing veteran suicides. With supporting data, this Open Forum argues that VA homelessness services also help address veteran suicides. Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate >5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%), and their rates of two-week suicidal ideation were 2.5 times higher (19.8% versus 7.4%). Because the majority of veterans who die by suicide are not engaged in VA care, VA services for the homeless that include outreach efforts to engage new veterans may be reaching some of these veterans. Thus continued federal support for VA homelessness services not only may help address homelessness but also may help prevent suicide of veterans. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its goal to end veteran homelessness and subsequently spent over $10 billion over the next seven years on VA health care, housing, and social services for homeless veterans. Considerable progress has been made, with annual point-in-time counts indicating a 47% drop in veteran homelessness from 2009 to 2016 (1). Under the new federal administration, administrative support and funding for VA homelessness programs may change, but how is not clear. For example, in late 2017, VA Secretary David Shulkin initiated plans to redirect millions of dollars for VA homelessness services to other VA services (2) until a wave of protests from veteran advocates caused the secretary to retract these plans in December (3). Moreover, under the new administration, the VA secretary has made veteran suicide the top clinical priority in the VA, which may shift focus away from veteran homelessness and toward veteran suicide.
04/17/2018 - 13:46
Still Hungry and Homeless in College
Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education: A Continuing Challenge Since 2008, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab has examined food and housing insecurity among the nation’s undergraduates. We initially focused on Wisconsin, assessing prevalence of basic needs challenges in two samples of students—a cohort of Pell Grant recipients entering the state’s 42 public colleges and universities in fall 2008, and a cohort of low- and moderate-income students entering 10 public and private colleges and universities in 2012.3 Then we expanded to consider these challenges at colleges around the nation. Since there is no nationally representative survey of undergraduates that measures food or housing insecurity, surveying samples of students at colleges is the only option.4 This has been a major challenge.5 Limited finances and legal restrictions make it difficult to collect data from multiple colleges while obtaining high response rates. We would prefer to offer students strong monetary incentives and draw representative subsamples of students to focus the surveys on, but lack both the money and the data required. Therefore, we field inexpensive e-surveys and send them to each college’s entire population of undergraduates. The low response rates (often south of 10%) trouble us, but the estimates are likely conservative—our surveys do not explicitly recruit hungry or homeless students, and we expect that they have far less time or energy to give up for surveys. However, we leave that assessment to our readers—simply publishing the results as they arrive with as much transparency as possible, and continuing year after year to provide each college and university with its own data. We also continue to call on the National Center for Education Statistics to assess basic needs security on their nationally representative studies of undergraduates, and ask that other surveys of students include these questions as well.6 This report is about our third national survey. In 2015 we worked with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and invited all 1,200 of their members to do the survey. In total, 10 community colleges in 7 states accepted, and just over 4,000 students completed the questions. In 2016, we again partnered with ACCT, and 70 of their members responded, coming from 24 states, with a few repeats from 2015. More than 33,000 students completed that survey. In 2017, we opened the invitation up to any college or university, 2-year or 4-year, public or private, offering to support their efforts to address students’ basic needs by collecting data to inform their practices. This year’s survey is a purely voluntary, non-random sample, and includes 66 colleges and universities, including 31 community colleges and 35 4-year colleges and universities from 20 states and Washington, D.C. In total, 43,000 students responded, including over 20,000 in the 4-year sector. This is, therefore, the largest national assessment of basic needs security among 4-year students.
04/12/2018 - 14:59
Men’s experiences of early life trauma and pathways into long-term homelessness
Abstract Previous studies that have explored the association between childhood trauma and homelessness indicate that traumatic events can lead to survivor distrust of interpersonal relationships and institutions, prolonged homelessness and poor health and social outcomes. The majority of this literature relies on quantitative data and fails to investigate the personal experiences of childhood trauma that are found to impact housing status later in life. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 men living in an urban area in Ontario who had spent more than 30 consecutive nights in an emergency shelter over the course of their housing histories. During data analysis, it was observed that all of the men had experienced some form of trauma or neglect in childhood which contributed to their entries into homelessness. Using a case study approach, three entry pathways into long term homelessness are described: 1) youth; 2) emerging or early adulthood; and 3) middle adulthood. Participants are classified into the pathways by the developmental period at which they first entered homelessness. These findings have implications for policy makers and service providers, as key intervention points are identified. Establishing effective interventions that address crises experienced at these points could assist with homelessness prevention across the life course.
04/12/2018 - 13:44
Transitions between Housing States among Urban Homeless Adults: a Bayesian Markov Model
Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore how marginalization, substance abuse, and service utilization influence the transitions between streets, shelters, and housed states over the course of 2 years in a population of urban homeless adults. Survey responses from three yearly interviews of 400 homeless adults were matched with administrative services data collected from regional health, mental health, and housing service providers. To estimate the rates of transition between housed, street, and shelter status, a multi-state Markov model was developed within a Bayesian framework. These transition rates were then regressed on a set of independent variables measuring demographics, marginalization, substance abuse, and service utilization. Transitions from housing to shelters or streets were associated with not being from the local area, not having friends or family to count on, and unemployment. Pending charges and a recent history of being robbed were associated with the shelters-to-streets transition. Remaining on the streets was uniquely associated with engagement in Bshadow work^ and, surprisingly, a high use of routine services. These findings paint a picture of unique and separate processes for different types of housing transitions. These results reinforce the importance of focusing interventions on the needs of these unique housing transitions, paying particular attention to prior housing patterns, substance abuse, and the different ways that homeless adults are marginalized in our society.
04/12/2018 - 13:37
Unlocking Doors To Homelessness Prevention (2018)
Since launching in 2014, Your Way Home has seen much success in rapidly rehousing those in Montgomery County who are experiencing homelessness. Findings from the research will assist Your Way Home in building a new agenda to expand its work into prevention efforts. The following themes were identified: - The causes of eviction and homelessness are multi-dimensional. - Race plays a critical role in determining eviction rates and is also correlated with rates of homelessness. - The challenge of prevention is targeting services and resources toward those most likely to become homeless. - Accurately targeted and effective community-based prevention programs can be cheaper for communities where shelter stays are expensive.  Access the report above, which provides a national scan of eviction prevention and homelessness prevention programs in local communities. Specific programs in other areas of the country are profiled. Eight key lessons are offered, and a link is provided for how policy makers, grantmakers and providers can best implement these lesssons (pg. 8). HealthSpark is proud to have partnered with Your Way Home on this seminal report.
04/12/2018 - 13:31
The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018
The homelessness monitor is a longitudinal study providing an independent analysis of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England. It considers both the consequences of the post-2007 economic and housing market recession, and the subsequent recovery, and also the impact of policy changes. This seventh annual report updates our account of how homelessness stands in England in 2018, or as close to 2018 as data availability allows. It also highlights emerging trends and forecasts some of the likely future changes, identifying the developments likely to have the most significant impacts on homelessness. While this report focuses on England, parallel Homelessness Monitors are being published for other parts of the UK. Key findings Homelessness has shot up the media and political agenda over the past year. All of the major party manifestos made mention of homelessness in the snap June 2017 election, and the Conservatives under Theresa May pledged to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027. The Prime Minister has also established a high-level Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce supported by an expert Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel. This political attention is in large part a response to the ongoing rise in officially estimated rough sleeper numbers, with the national total now up by 169 per cent since 2010. The more robust statistics routinely collected by the CHAIN system similarly show London rough sleeping having more than doubled since 2010. Latest figures show London rough sleeping involving UK nationals continuing to increase very slightly. However, thanks to a sharp contraction in street homelessness involving those of Central and Eastern European and other non-UK origin, overall London rough sleeping has marginally reduced since 2015. At just over 59,000, annual homelessness acceptances were some 19,000 higher across England in 2016/17 than in 2009/10. With a rise of 2 per cent over the past year, acceptances now stand 48 per cent above their 2009/10 low point. However, administrative changes mean that these official statistics understate the true increase in ‘homelessness expressed demand’ over recent years. Since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, at twice the rate of homelessness acceptances. Thus, the overall national total rose by 8 per cent in the year to 31 March 2017, up 61 per cent on the low point six years earlier. A continuation of this trend would see placements topping 100,000 by 2020. Though accounting for only 9 per cent of the national total, bed and breakfast placements have been rising particularly quickly, and now stand 250 per cent higher than in 2009. The National Audit Office has drawn attention to a 39 per cent real terms increase in local authority spending on temporary accommodation in the five years to 2015/16, a period when expenditure on homelessness prevention declined. All available evidence points to Local Housing Allowance reforms as a major driver of this association between loss of private tenancies and homelessness. These reforms have also demonstrably restricted lower-income households’ access to the private rented sector. The number of Housing Benefit/Universal Credit claimants who are private tenants is now some 5 per cent lower than when the Local Housing Allowance reforms began in 2011, despite the continuing strong growth of the private rented sector overall. This policy has also, as intended, had a particularly marked impact in inner London. Alongside the narrowing opportunities to access the private rented sector (see above), there is a growing evidence of a squeeze on homeless households’ access to social tenancies. This arises not only from the pressure on the highly diminished pool of available social rented properties, with an 11 per cent drop in new lettings in the past year alone, but also a reported increase in social landlord anxieties about letting to benefit-reliant households and those with complex needs. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, due to come into force in April 2018, seems to have garnered significant and growing cross-sectoral support. While there remain concerns regarding the adequacy of the ‘new burdens’ funding granted to local authorities to support the Act’s implementation, the more fundamental issues relate to the growing structural difficulties that many local authorities face in securing affordable housing for their homeless applicants.
04/12/2018 - 13:16
Poverty Reduction Strategy (Annual Report 2017): Ontario
This report highlights our progress – and what we plan to do next – in our efforts to reduce child poverty, eliminate chronic homelessness, help people move towards employment, increase food security, develop an action plan for income security reform and invest in programs and community-designed solutions. Introduction Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy is based on the vision that every Ontarian has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and to contribute to a prosperous and healthy province. This report shares information about progress, profiles local poverty reduction efforts, and highlights areas where we can better support people by creating fairness and opportunity for all Ontarians. Cumulative investments can reduce poverty and improve quality of life by providing meaningful supports to people at every age and life stage. In 2017, we took action to empower individuals and families to confidently navigate key milestones, whether they are having a child, exploring postsecondary education, entering the workforce, seeking retraining for a new career, or shifting into retirement. We integrated our supports and services to better meet user needs. This builds on our earlier actions and is making a difference in the lives of Ontarians. The Poverty ReductionStrategy Indicators (see Chapter 5) measure our progress. Helping Ontarians realize their potential in a changing economy requires a responsive and adaptable system of employment, income and social supports. We are making progress on reducing the gap between income and the cost of living through increases to the minimum wage, the introduction of OHIP+, housing supplements, child care fee subsidies, full-day kindergarten, and free average tuition. We are building on the findings of the Income Security Reform Working Group and parallel working groups with First Nation and Indigenous partners to reform income security. In addition, we are piloting a basic income that will help inform our longer-term plans to better support people living on low incomes. We will continue to collaborate with the Federal government on their poverty reduction strategy, and with Indigenous partners, municipalities and service partners, to achieve results and improve incomes for Ontarians. And as always, we are excited to continue to engage and learn from Ontarians on how best to reduce poverty and improve outcomes for all.
04/12/2018 - 13:11
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