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Afterword
A YOUTH PERSPECTIVE Being homeless is stressful. It’s 24 hours a day. Even if you experience a good week or month, there is always an underlying and pervasive feeling of instability, that everything around you is temporary. Despite the positive things you experience, there is still a strong fear that you will lose everything you have gained or relapse into homelessness. As a young person who has experienced homelessness and a transition back to housing, I have found that homelessness had a large impact on my mental health. I have learned, from myself and others, that the experience of homelessness can easily trigger previous or new mental health symptoms. For example, feelings of loneliness, isolation, and a general lack of family and community support often lead to an overall sense of hopelessness or depression. This depression can then translate into substance use or risky behaviours as youth seek comfort through harmful coping strategies because they lack healthier or more adaptive options. These risky coping measures can then lead to even greater or longer lasting mental health challenges and harm. This is why support for young people who are homeless is essential. In my own experience, the most helpful services have come from dependable and flexible outreach workers, as well as highly trained and accessible mental health professionals. Outreach workers have been a lifeline for me. They created the feeling that somebody was actively helping me because they would come to wherever it was I needed them to be. Trustworthy, dependable and flexible service was key. However, access to these services is not very easy; wait lists are often over a year long or require specific referrals from physicians to which youth may not have access. These are barriers for youth who live on the street and who are forced to remain homeless longer because services are lacking or because they don’t know how to get connected to a professional. Unfortunately, many youth who are homeless experience serious mental health challenges and require intervention, but cannot easily access highly qualified and trained mental health professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists. I feel that this access is an investment in the well-being of youth that helps prevent further escalation of already stressful experiences. I had the opportunity to enroll in an integrated program called HOP-C that linked me with a supportive team that stayed connected with me and with each other. I had access to high-quality mental health care, an outreach worker, and peer mentorship in the community. This included the opportunity to attend fun community events. These events helped me and others in the program see past our current circumstances and have fun and let loose. They reminded me that there is more to life than my current situation and that I had the capacity to be happy. My own improved mental health has increased my capacity for life and my ability to work toward a better future. It enables me to put actions to my words. This change started with attending appointments and making efforts to maintain a healthy balance, and then led to working toward education and employment goals. Improved mental health has shifted my perspective on life: I feel hope, that I can achieve things. The focus of my life is no longer on mere survival, but on seeing and experiencing what life has to offer. I support resources that assist workers and systems in better addressing the mental health and addiction challenges of youth. These supports help youth who need extra assistance, due to their histories and difficult experiences, to realize their potential and see a better future for themselves. Service providers who have solid training in mental health and addiction make us feel more secure and supported, and help ease the burden of homelessness. For me, they made getting through life just a little bit easier. They instilled hope and reminded me that there is life after homelessness. The best workers were constant sources of motivation, encouraging me to not give up on my life goals. All youth deserve this. M.H. - ABOUT THE EDITORS Sean Kidd, PhD, CPRP, is a senior scientist and division chief of psychology at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. His career has focused on marginality and service enhancement, specifically among youth experiencing homelessness and people with severe mental illness. He has published landmark papers in qualitative methods in psychology, and is internationally recognized for his research on youth homelessness, including being one of the most published scholars in that area. He has done extensive work in developing and testing psychiatric rehabilitation interventions and in examining social inclusion among marginalized populations. Natasha Slesnick, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist. At Ohio State University, she is associate dean of Research and Administration in the College of Education and Human Ecology, and a professor of couple and family therapy, human development, and family science. Her research focuses on youth and families experiencing homelessness, specifically on developing and evaluating interventions for substance use, HIV risk, mental health, and housing. She has evaluated and refined an ecologically based family systems intervention for shelter-recruited adolescents who have run from home, and for their families. She has also modified and tested individually focused interventions for street-recruited youth and young mothers with children in their care. Dr. Slesnick launched two drop-in centres for youth who are homeless: one in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and another in Columbus, Ohio. Tyler Frederick, PhD, is a sociologist and an assistant professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa. He is a community-based researcher with a focus on marginalized young people. His research focuses on how young people navigate homelessness and how this process shapes their mental health, identity, and well-being. Jeff Karabanow, PhD, RSW, is a professor of social work at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His research focuses on housing stability, service delivery systems, street health, and homeless youth culture. He has completed a documentary about the plight of street youth in Guatemala City and several animated shorts on Canadian street youth culture. Dr. Karabanow is one of the founding members of Halifax’s Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter and is co-director of the Dalhousie School of Social Work Community Clinic.334  Stephen Gaetz, CM, is a professor in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto, and director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness/Homeless Hub. His program of research has been defined by his desire to “make research matter” by conducting rigorous scholarly research that contributes to our knowledge base on homelessness, and that at the same time can be mobilized to have a bigger impact on policy, practice, and public opinion. Dr. Gaetz has pioneered efforts to bring together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and people with lived experience of homelessness to participate in community-engaged scholarship and knowledge creation designed to contribute to solutions to homelessness. As director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, one of his key projects is the Homeless Hub, an innovative web-based research library internationally recognized as a leading example of innovation in knowledge mobilization.
01/17/2018 - 11:52
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4.2 Pragmatic strategies & considerations for evaluating mental health programs
Evaluation research involves gathering a wide variety of indicators in order to better understand how a program is operating, its impact, and what can be done to improve it. The performance indicators that many organizations collect routinely as part of their daily operations can provide important information for a program evaluation (e.g., attendance, client demographics), but are not themselves considered evaluation research. Evaluation involves systematically and intentionally collecting and reviewing information in order to understand and strengthen a program.  This chapter offers service providers guidance around evaluating programming within their organizations, with a particular focus on mental health initiatives. It discusses developing evaluation questions and choosing sources and methods for obtaining information. It also examines ethical considerations in conducting evaluation research. 
01/17/2018 - 11:44
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4.1 Assessment tools for prioritizing housing resources for youth who are homeless
In almost all communities in North America, the number of youth experiencing homelessness exceeds the capacity of the housing resources available to them. This situation leaves communities with the predicament of trying to decide who to prioritize for the precious few spots available in housing programs. For adults, this same dynamic exists and many communities have turned to vulnerability assessment tools to help them make these difficult decisions. Most communities have moved to a coordinated entry system. In such systems, most agencies within a community pool their housing resources in a centralized system. People seeking housing are first assessed for eligibility. Criteria usually include being chronically homeless, in addition to veteran status and vulnerability (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2015, 2016). Based on these assessments, individuals are prioritized for housing and placed on waiting lists until appropriate housing becomes available in the community.  In the context of adult homelessness, tools for assessing vulnerability have focused on assessing factors associated with premature mortality (Hwang, Lebow, Bierer et al., 1998; Juneau Economic Development Council, 2009; Swanborough, 2011) or with greatest system costs (Economic Roundtable, 2011). However, since youth under age 24 are unlikely to experience health-related premature mortality or to have created enormous system costs, new assessment tools have been developed in recent years that reflect the needs and realities of youth who are homeless. Most widely used are the TAY Triage Tool (Rice, 2013), developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and myself, and the Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth,1 which was developed by Orgcode Consulting (2015) with CSH and myself. 
01/17/2018 - 11:31
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4. ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION
01/17/2018 - 11:27
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3.9 Resilience-based mental health intervention for street children in developing countries
“Street children” are an underprivileged group that is visible in public places of urban areas in developing countries. These children engage in informal economic activities to make a living for themselves and their families. They are found in every corner of the globe, but are more visible in developing countries in Africa, South Asia, and parts of Latin America (Thomas de Benítez, 2011). There is debate about the size of this population, with estimates ranging anywhere between several million and 100 million. Part of the difficulty in determining the exact number is the lack of a universally accepted definition of street children1 (Thomas de Benítez, 2011).  These challenges aside, the question remains: Why do these children leave their homes for the complex hardships of street life? Research from developing countries tends to view children’s movement to the street through two lenses: poverty and family dysfunction. Chronic poverty often creates unbearable conditions at home for young children and exerts pressure on family members to find economic means for survival (Ballet, Bhukuth, & Radja, 2013). In this situation, children migrate to the streets voluntarily or involuntarily to support their families. From the family dysfunction perspective, family environments that feature conflict, violence, abandonment, and authoritarian behaviour weaken or disintegrate ties among family members, prompting the child’s eventual departure from the home (Ballet et al., 2013). Moreover, population growth, urbanization, war, and HIV epidemics affect the stability of economic and social institutions in developing countries; when these institutions are unstable, families and individuals migrate to urban centres that are themselves economically depressed and thus offer limited opportunities. Some families disintegrate under these conditions and children are forced to take to the streets for survival (Kombarakaran, 2004). 
01/17/2018 - 11:22
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3.8 Partnerships that support mental health intervention for street-involved youth
After decades of fragmentation within the community-based child and youth mental health sector, there is an emerging trend and understanding of how cross-sectoral partnerships and integration between organizations can improve mental health outcomes for children, youth, and young adults. This chapter describes the benefits of these partnerships and key considerations in developing them. It also presents a case study of a successful partnership that is helping to address mental health issues among youth in the shelter system. 
01/17/2018 - 11:18
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3.7 The digital lives of youth who are homeless: Implications for intervention, policy, and services
Each year, 1.5 million to 3 million youth in the United States experience homelessness1 (Toro, Lesperance, & Braciszewski, 2011). They are considered to be one of the most marginalized groups in the country. Among the many challenges they face are acquiring health care, employment, and stable housing. It is becoming increasingly important to consider how to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase service engagement and outreach and improve health outcomes and quality of life among youth who are homeless.  ICT encompasses a range of interactive tools and platforms; these include social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where people create profiles and share them with network contacts; content-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, which are used to share, rate, and discuss videos and photographs (Adewuyi & Adefemi, 2016); and mobile phones and mobile phone–based applications, which have become a popular alternative to traditional websites for delivering information.  This chapter discusses recent research on ICT use among youth who are homeless. It also describes interventions in the United States that have used these technologies to engage this population, and explains how what we have learned can be translated into service and policy initiatives that reduce disparities in accessing information and other resources in this vulnerable group. 
01/17/2018 - 11:14
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3.6 Peer support work to enhance services for youth experiencing homelessness
Across contexts, peer workers and peer mentors are becoming an increasingly important resource in delivering youth-focused programming for young people who are homeless or street involved. Peer work has been established across a number of practice areas, including public health, addictions, education, and community-based research. The most considerable development in the role has been within the mental health sector, where peer work is gaining increasing visibility and legitimacy as a central component of a recovery-based approach that is demonstrating positive outcomes (Nesta, 2015). While the incorporation of adult peers is relatively well established in many service sectors, youth and young adult involvement is still developing.  Peer work can encompass a number of activities, and although the role lacks a clear definition, a defining feature is the use of lived experience as a support to individuals in similar circumstances (Vandewalle et al., 2016). Within this broad conceptualization, various authors (Ansell & Insley, 2013; Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, 2016; Paradis, Bardy, Cummings, Athumani, & Pereira, 2012) have identified the common peer worker roles. These roles include:  Peer mentor: partners with a client or participant and offers support and encouragement regarding program-specific goals and broader life goals;  Peer educator: helps develop educational materials and leads educational presentations and workshops;  Peer navigator: provides help with systems navigation (e.g., accompanying people to appointments, connecting to services, helping to fill out paperwork);  Peer specialist: a broader role that encompasses some of the above activities and might include some case management, advocacy, and group facilitation; and  Self-help and mutual aid group: this includes peer support groups and peer knowledge exchanges.
01/17/2018 - 11:10
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3.5 Beautiful trouble: Possibilities in the arts with street-involved youth
 Beautiful trouble makers who remember, resist and reimagine.  —Min Sook Lee, OCAD University, Art and Social Change  Offering Crys a ride “home” after a jewelry-making workshop led me to a makeshift “shanty town” under the Bathurst Street bridge in Toronto. I was struck by the vivid colour and detail in this woven compilation of blankets, boxes, and condo sales sandwich boards, used to create multi-storey structures, walls, doors, beds, tables, and chairs. It looked like a theatre set. Crys told me that over 20 youth lived there, and it had taken months to construct. Everyone had a role in this “under-the-bridge” community. Someone fed the dogs and another created the schedule for their walks; someone held the alarm clock to wake people for jobs, school, or appointments; others led study and support groups for those in school, and those wanting to “stay clean.” And of course, many of them were musicians, poets, and artists who made things to sell instead of panhandling and who entertained each other in the evenings. They shared their earnings and combined costs, especially for meal-making that happened over their custom-made Bunsen burners. They met weekly to make decisions and talk through problems. Crys was pretty proud of that place and it evoked a kind of envy in me for creative, cooperative, and alternative community. 
01/17/2018 - 11:07
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3.4 The individual placement & support model of supported employment for street-involved youth with mental illness
More than two million youth in the United States are homeless at some time each year (Whitbeck, 2009). They often have histories of depression, complex trauma, substance abuse, and physical and sexual abuse—all of which make obtaining and maintaining competitive employment difficult. Epidemiologic data indicate that 26% meet the clinical criteria for major depression, 35% have attempted suicide, and 72% use illegal substances to cope (Rotheram-Borus & Milburn, 2004). Their connection to school is also irregular or non-existent, which contributes to low educational levels and limited employment skills. Several studies suggest that over one-third of youth who are homeless have dropped out of school, do not attend school regularly, or fail to earn a high-school diploma by age 18 (Thompson, Pollio, & Constantine, 2002; Whitbeck, 2009). These mental health and behavioural health challenges, combined with low educational and employment skills, contribute to high unemployment rates among youth who are homeless compared with their housed peers. Housed youth in the general population (aged 16–24) have unemployment rates ranging between 8% and 17% (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016), whereas unemployment rates for youth who are homeless range from 39% to 71% across various samples of youth living on the street or in shelters (Courtney, Piliavin, Grogan-Kaylor, & Nesmith, 2001; Ferguson & Xie, 2008; Lenz- Rashid, 2006; Whitbeck, 2009). 
01/17/2018 - 11:02
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3.3 Strengths-based outreach & advocacy for non-service-connected youth experiencing homelessness
Much of what is known about youth who are homeless is obtained from those engaged through service programs, such as drop-in centres or shelters. This means that much less is known about youth experiencing homelessness who are not engaged in services as they are excluded from most studies. This is a significant concern because some reports indicate that youth who are not connected to services represent the majority of youth who are homeless: less than 10% access community resources meant to serve them (Kelly & Caputo, 2007). Furthermore, service-disconnected youth are different from those who already access services; they have more unmet needs and more severe substance use and mental health problems (Kryda & Compton, 2009). Efforts to connect youth to services are essential to prevent a range of public health consequences associated with homelessness, including premature death. 
01/17/2018 - 10:56
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3.2 Responding to mental health concerns on the front line: Building capacity at a crisis shelter for youth experiencing homelessness
It is well established that youth experiencing homelessness face many challenges with their mental health. For example, a literature review of the topic found that 30%–40% of youth who are homeless experience major depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use (Kidd, 2013). A small number also experience psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, although this incidence is believed to be larger than that found in the general population (Kidd, 2013). Moreover, an alarming number of youth face some form of emotional distress regardless of whether they have a formal diagnosis. Our administrative data at Covenant House Toronto, Canada’s largest youth-serving agency, show that about 30% of the young people we serve in our emergency shelter have a serious mental health concern, and of a sample of 164 youth using our drop-in, shelter, and transitional housing programs, over 70% reported experiencing at least one symptom of depression, anxiety, hearing or seeing things that others could not, distress from past trauma, sleep disturbances, and/or suicidal ideation in the past three months. 
01/17/2018 - 10:32
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Report on Youth Homelessness 2018
A Vision for Tomorrow On any given night, more than 6,000 Canadian youths are homeless. Young people account for one in five of the people living in Canada’s homeless shelters. In Kingston the figure was more acute in 2013. One in three shelter residents here were between the ages of 15 and 24.* To help these vulnerable young people put their homelessness behind them and live safe, productive lives, the United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington embarked on a mission to prevent and end youth homelessness in our region. This mission began with the vision of reducing the number of young people using the shelter system. However as the consultation process gained momentum, it became clear that the root causes of homelessness are complex and require intervention on multiple fronts. Instead of reducing homelessness, then, the United Way opted to focus on prevention, providing timely intervention, and building a sustainable network of supportive resources. While this approach may not have the intended effect of reducing the number of homeless youth, it will ensure that youth homelessness in our community becomes a treatable condition, rather than a chronic one. And so a new vision emerged: “By 2020, 80 per cent of youths who enter the homelessness system in KFL&A will be housed within 30 days.” By pursuing this vision, we can focus our attention and our efforts on identifying and removing the barriers that keep young people from accessing safe, suitable, and sustainable housing, and ensure that every young person in KFL&A has a place to call home. * In 2017, as a result of community wide efforts, one in five shelter residents were between the ages of 15 and 24.
01/17/2018 - 09:43
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Rent Assist Rates for Persons Renting in the Private Market
Outline of rent assistance available in Manitoba. 
01/08/2018 - 14:49
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Brandon Poverty Compass
The Poverty Report attempts to provide a comprehensive image of what poverty is in Brandon. Given the existing work and research that is being done in the community, Statistics Canada, and many other organizations, there is no shortage of quality information on poverty and its indicators in Brandon. However, no one report has yet to cohesively amalgamate this information into one report to benefit local decision-makers and poverty-serving organizations.  Data has been amalgamated from Statistics Canada, Economic Development Brandon, and many other sources. Where Brandon specific information wasn’t available, interviews with local stakeholders and individuals with lived experience have been used to supplement provincial data. Overall, a collaborative approach was taken whereby the emphasis was placed on creating an ongoing dialogue with community members and organizations to provide the fullest picture of poverty.  
01/08/2018 - 14:45
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Brandon Homelessness Partnering Strategy Community Plan 2014–2019
Homelessness partnering strategy plan for implementing Housing First in Brandon. 
01/08/2018 - 14:36
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Child and Family Poverty in Ontario
This manual is a reference for service providers working with families living in poverty who have children under age six. These families face many challenges as a result of living in poverty and often turn to service providers for support in the navigation of these challenges and for needed services. In order to be effective in their work, it is important that all service providers who work with families living in poverty: • Have a broad understanding of the issues facing families living in poverty. • Recognize poverty as a primary social problem and a major determinant of poor health. • Focus their interventions on decreasing the impacts of poverty. This manual was written with a wide range of service providers in mind, such as community workers, child protection workers, teachers, health care providers, early childhood educators, social workers and others who interact with families, parents or children. Questions are raised to encourage service providers to reflect on the influence that poverty has on families as well as the ways they serve these families. In this resource, the voices of parents and service providers are presented as they offer their needs, concerns and experiences. This information helps to create a picture of how services can operate for optimal impact. The final chapter presents examples of services that use innovative approaches to address the concerns and challenges of families living in poverty. Lists of key resources for service providers and for parents are provided at the end of the manual.
01/08/2018 - 10:33
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The Action Plan for Preventing Homelessness in Finland 2016-2019: The Culmination of an Integrated Strategy to End Homelessness?
This paper begins by setting the 2016-2019 Action Plan for Preventing Homelessness in Finland, hereafter the ‘Action Plan’, in the context of the wider Finnish homelessness strategy. Following a summary of the Action Plan, the paper then undertakes a critical analysis of the preventative approach being taken, considering the strengths of the Finnish approach and the challenges that exist in reducing Finnish homelessness. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential lessons from the Finnish model for other European countries.
12/19/2017 - 12:08
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Financing Cocaine Use in a Homeless Population
Abstract:  Background: Cocaine use is highly prevalent among homeless populations, yet little is known about how it is financed. This study examined associations of income sources with cocaine use and financing of drugs in a longitudinal evaluation of a homeless sample.  Methods: A homeless sample was recruited systematically in St. Louis in 1999–2001 and longitudinally assessed annually over two years using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and the Homeless Supplement, with urine drug testing.  Results: More than half (55%) of participants with complete follow-up data (N = 255/400) had current year cocaine use. Current users spent nearly $400 (half their income) in the last month on drugs at baseline. Benefits, welfare, and disability were negatively associated and employment and income from family/friends, panhandling, and other illegal activities were positively associated with cocaine use and monetary expenditures for cocaine.  Conclusions: Findings suggest that illegal and informal income-generating activities are primary sources for immediate gratification with cocaine use and public entitlements do not appear to be primary funding sources used by homeless populations. Policy linking drug testing to benefits is likely to have little utility, and public expenditures on measures to unlink drug use and income might be more effectively used to fund employment and treatment programs. Keywords:  homelessness; substance use; cocaine; financing; income; public entitlements; longitudinal; diagnostic assessment; urine drug testing; panhandling
12/18/2017 - 12:15
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Defining and measuring an end to homelessness: Considerations for the National Housing Strategy
The concept of “ending homelessness” has had significant impact on public policy and service responses in recent years. Just consider the number of “ending homelessness” plans, strategies, policy directions, and funding announcements not just in Canada, but internationally. Currently, there is no internationally recognized definition of an end to homelessness, the type of indicators and targets, and a verification process for communities. This is also the case for Canada. In light of the recently launched National Housing Strategy with a clear recognition of housing as a human right and commitment to ending homelessness, we want to ensure that measurable targets and goals drive toward the elimination of homelessness. However, without a clear sense of what homelessness actually means and what an “end” looks like, how will we ever know where we stand on progress towards this objective? Clearly, if we are truly interested in ending homelessness, then we need to move beyond a sole focus (and performance metric) on chronic homelessness, as the National Housing Strategy suggests. This is because we cannot, and should not, wait for people to become chronically homeless before we help them. This is a fundamental violation of their human rights. In fact, if we really want to end homelessness, we need to ensure that people do not become homeless in the first place through a preventive focus that ensures they have access to appropriate supports and housing. One of the main problems with focusing narrowly on chronic homelessness is that we can exclude key populations who are extremely vulnerable in other ways, including women fleeing violence, Indigenous Peoples in substandard housing, couch surfing youth, young people vulnerable to criminal and sexual exploitation, and racialized communities and newcomers. Waiting for these groups to become chronically homeless before we offer them serious help to avoid or exit homelessness is expensive and damaging to individuals, families and communities.   In addition, the important work on defining Indigenous homelessness, from an Indigenous-lived experience lens speaks to the important considerations tied to definitions and their powerful impact. Thus, a Canadian definition must resonate regionally and across populations; it must align with the lived experience voice and look beyond quick fixes if we are to truly leverage this historic moment in social policy for our country. Finally, we need to consider that chronic homelessness underrepresents dynamics involved in small, medium-sized and regional centres as well as rural and Northern remote communities where hidden homelessness is very common. While focusing on chronic homelessness must always be a central priority in community strategies to address homelessness, if we want to truly end homelessness, we need to do more. FROM THE RESEARCH MATTERS BLOG  A Lived Experience View of Functional & Absolute Zero
12/12/2017 - 13:46
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Women, Intimate Partner Violence and Homelessness
While the circumstance around individuals seeking shelter are complex and varied, we know that oppressive structures, such as economic injustice, racism, and sexism, play a key role. These systematic forces interact to shape the experiences of women living with intimate partner violence (IPV) and housing issues. The narratives in this newsletter come from the courageous women who shared their stories with advocates and researchers that work to bring greater understanding and attention to this serious social issue.
12/11/2017 - 10:38
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Safe at Home A Community-Based Action Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness In Whitehorse, Yukon 2017
Safe at Home is a whole community response to the urgent issue of homelessness in Whitehorse. This Plan is an attempt to highlight what needs to happen to end and prevent homelessness, and to support better community coordination to provide better care for vulnerable people. This plan is about the whole community, all of us, working together and saying, ‘these are the necessary actions to end homelessness in Whitehorse’, it advocates for more effective community coordination to provide better care for vulnerable people.  Community champions realized that a solution would require a different kind of approach. The Plan, developed by a Working Group reflecting the diversity of Whitehorse, includes four governments, community organizations, and people with lived experience. This Working Group is a ‘different’ approach, both a challenge and a strength. As member Jack Bogaard observed: “we are the little group that has come so far”.  The 5th Avenue temporary low barrier shelter that was opened February 2017 for three months speaks to how quickly resources can be amassed to meet urgent community needs. There was an alignment of people and a willingness to try something new, which led to real action that has helped some of Whitehorse’s most vulnerable people.  Safe at Home is not a plan for any one government or organization to implement alone, and not all participants or decision-makers need to agree with all the identified actions. Rather, this plan is a guide to determine respective and coordinated courses of action, rooted in community values, personal and expert experiences, and the best available research. 
12/05/2017 - 15:03
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Homelessness in Calgary From the Perspectives of Those Experiencing Homelessness
Since the 1990s, homelessness has increased in Canada. The existing strategies of the government and public health service providers to manage the situation have had limited success. Researchers have noted the lack of including those experiencing homelessness to better understand and find a solution to homelessness. The purpose of this phenomenological study, driven by the social cognitive theory, was to understand homelessness from the perspectives of people who do not have homes. Data were collected from open-ended interviews with a purposeful sample of 15 individuals who are homeless. Summarizing and analyzing the interviews, several themes emerged after interview data were transcribed via hand coding and analyzed using cognitive data analysis. The prominent themes were: lack namely, money, home, privacy, and support; discrimination of all kinds; mental illness and addiction; the need for a review of housing policy that specifically addresses rent, mortgage qualification criteria and house tax, and to create awareness of government support systems and the services that they provide. Public health service providers and designated authorities can use the findings of this study to understand the phenomenon from the perspective of people who are experiencing homelessness, and in turn can use that understanding to influence improved homelessness reduction strategies that could improve the lives of those experiencing homelessness and their communities. Since homelessness is a public health issue, effectively bringing it under control could create a positive impact on the health and safety of the public.
12/05/2017 - 12:10
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Canada's National Housing Strategy
The National Housing Strategy, announced on November 22, 2017, is a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. The Strategy is a national initiative, built through extensive consultations over approximately 2 years with Canadians from all walks of life: experts, stakeholders, think tanks, and people with lived experiences to provide a diversity of housing perspectives.
11/23/2017 - 10:34
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Everyone is Home: Yellowknife's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness
A CALL TO ACTION Everyone is Home: Yellowknife’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness The people of the North have taken on and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Yellowknifers carve their lives from an environment others see as harsh and unforgiving as much as it is breathtaking. As in many Northwest Territories communities, the city is forging a future made up of increasing diversity, grounded in ways of life existing since time immemorial. Yellowknife is at a crossroads as a community. Whether thinking about the economic future, urban revitalization, commitment to authentic Reconciliation, or approach to governance, the city has to grapple with emerging complex social challenges if it is to become the prosperous and thriving community residents envision to create together. Homelessness is a true test of the Yellowknife’s resilience – an expression of extreme deprivation with consequences and impacts that affect every single person. It calls upon all to act. Continuing to manage homelessness costs more than ending it; the impacts of homelessness on emergency rooms, jails, police, and the courts is significant and does little to address root causes. Moving towards a Housing First approach, which places emphasis on moving people rapidly into housing with wrap-around supports, will help end their homelessness, and relieve pressure on emergency services in the community. Homelessness in Yellowknife and the North is a legacy of Canada’s colonial past, intimately tied to the ongoing impacts of residential schooling and intergenerational trauma. As such, homelessness is much more than someone’s lack of housing or shelter – it is a manifestation of dispossession, displacement, and disruption forpeople, families, and entire Indigenous communities at a spiritual, social, and material level. Finding a way forward to end homelessness is therefore more than providing housing and shelter – as much as these remain essential. True wellness places importance on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual of people, families, communities, and their interconnectedness with one another and the land.Ending homelessness is a collective responsibility, and this Plan is a call to action for all to take another step on a journey of healing and Reconciliation. 
11/22/2017 - 11:49
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Housing First and its Impediments: The role of public policy in both creating and ending homelessness
Over the last decade, governments across Canada have increasingly mandated that policies and programmes to address homelessness follow a Housing First approach. Such an approach suggests that someone who is experiencing homelessness should be housed immediately, and any individual-level factors that contributed to their homelessness, such as mental health issues and addictions, will be addressed afterwards. The uptake of Housing First has been fueled by research from Canada and the United States that shows positive outcomes for clients in areas such as housing retention and mental health. This report intends to add another dimension to that research by examining Housing First as a social policy in the Canadian context.
11/16/2017 - 09:50
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Child Well-being, Child Poverty and Child Policy in Modern Nations (Revised 2nd Edition)
Child poverty and the well-being of children is an important policy issue throughout the industrialised world. Some 47 million children in 'rich' countries live in families so poor that their health and well-being are at risk. The main themes addressed are: · the extent and trend of child poverty in industrialised nations; · outcomes for children - for example, the relationship between childhood experiences and children's health; · country studies and emerging issues; · child and family policies. All the contributions underline the urgent need for a comprehensive policy to reduce child poverty rates and to improve the well-being of children. Findings are clearly presented and key focus points identified for policy makers to consider. 
11/15/2017 - 14:00
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Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America
Missed Opportunities: National Estimates summarizes the results of the Voices of Youth Count national survey that estimates the percentage of United States youth, ages 13 to 25, who have experienced unaccompanied homelessness at least once during a recent 12-month period. Results show that approximately one in 10 American young adults ages 18 to 25, and at least one in 30 adolescent minors ages 13 to 17, endures some form of homelessness. Key to understanding these estimates is the fact that young people—like Natalie—often shift among temporary circumstances such as living on the streets and couch surfing in unstable locations. The Voices of Youth Count national survey also reveals that urban and rural youth experience homelessness at similar rates and that particular subpopulations are at higher risk for homelessness, including black and Hispanic youth; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (LGBT); youth who do not complete high school; and youth who are parents. Previous research shows that the longer youth experience homelessness, the harder it is to escape homelessness and contribute to stronger families, communities, and economies. To exit homelessness permanently, youth require housing and support services tailored to their unique developmental needs. Although many factors drive youth from their homes, including economic hardship, conflict, abuse, and neglect, the young people thrust into this situation share difficulty and uncertainty.
11/15/2017 - 12:53
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Youth at the Centre of Impact: Toward an Outcomes Measurement Framework
BACKGROUND  In general, youth service providers have a strong interest in learning how effective they are in improving the quality of life for youth experiencing homelessness. But it has proven difficult to identify a coherent framework in which to measure outcomes, and young people's voices have not traditionally been brought into the evaluation process as the people most impacted by these services.  With the support of an Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Microgrant from the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth sought to fill this gap to help us develop a robust system to gauge our effectiveness in ending youth homelessness. In April 2017, we partnered with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) to help us develop an outcomes framework, not only to benefit ourselves but also to support the evaluative efforts of the Youth Shelter Interagency Network, a group of sister agencies working with homeless youth in Toronto.  This report provides a high-level summary of our outcomes framework project. Together, Eva’s and COH aimed to develop metrics that would extend beyond the “micro-level” of our programs and the “macro-level” of the City of Toronto’s efforts to something that could be contextualized at the community level. 
11/15/2017 - 12:12
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Poverty, Homelessness and Migration in Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Abstract: This special issue describes a multi-year community-university research alliance that explores issues related to poverty, homelessness, housing and migration in a vast region within northern Ontario, Canada. This introductory article explains the approach to the methodology used in the project and provides and an integrative perspective to the studies undertaken. The six articles presented in this special issue are placed in a broader context and briefly summarized. The articles deal with poverty, migra-tion, period prevalence counts of homelessness, stud-ies conducted within two First Nations and a theoreti-cal perspective on the use of public space by home-less people. 
11/13/2017 - 12:25
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The Challenge of Homelessness to Spatial Practices
Abstract: In this article, Lefebvre’s theory of space is utilized to understand the competing patterns in the use of public space by two different groups: the general public and homeless people as a sub-group. The general public perceives public space as distinctly separate from private space while the pri-vate space of homeless people is public space. This creates a dichotomy in their respective relationships to public space and their competing claims to their respective ways of using it. Despite the fact that homeless people only have public space at their dis-posal, legislative measures and administrative proce-dures—such as park bylaws which prohibit setting up temporary abode on parkland—are used to force them to abandon public space. Beyond the realm of legal regimes is the issue of representational space where homeless people are excluded from public space, which is seen as a sphere of consumption and enjoyment. Redevelopment plans (i.e., gentrification processes), are a prime example of a city’s repre-sentation of space. The reality of propertylessness means that homeless persons are forced to live their lives at the mercy of property owners. In an attempt to maintain the spatial practices of the housed majority, the city aggressively enacts a system of control which places homeless persons in a situation of constantly transgressing the legal regime that threatens their practices of survival.   
11/13/2017 - 12:20
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Voice of the People on the Re-Location Issue: Kashechewan First Nation, Ontario, Canada
Abstract: When a federal government report recom-mended that the community of Kashechewan First Nation be relocated to Timmins Ontario, the commu-nity leadership decided to conduct its own community consultations. Direct and meaningful input from the community was the focus of this community-based initiative involving all age groups. This participatory research project was headed and conducted by Cree people who worked as a team to ensure that all com-munity members had the opportunity to become involved in expressing their thoughts and aspirations for their traditional lands. The results strongly indi-cate the deep connection that the people have for their ancestral homelands. The community-driven endea-vour reflects the determination and conviction of the people to protect their homelands as it is their sacred responsibility. Although there has been no movement on the side of the federal government, this community-driven process has been an empowering experience for the people.
11/13/2017 - 12:11
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Migratory and Transient Homelessness in Northern Ontario, Canada
Abstract:  This study fills a gap in the literature by expanding knowledge about migratory/transient homelessness in a northern Ontario context. Con-ducted in Sudbury (Ontario) Canada, this multi-methods study included an analysis of existing quan-titative and qualitative data (from 2000-2007), a sur-vey of homeless persons (2009) and focus groups with service users and providers (2009). Key findings indicate that migrants constitute about a fifth to a quarter of the local homeless population. Over three-quarters had come from Ontario communities, typi-cally in northeastern or southern Ontario. There was no clear pattern of increases in the number of migrants in the summer compared to winter. Recent and intermediate-term migrants were similar in a number of respects: most were men, most did not have custody of any children, and the cultural back-grounds reflected the linguistic/cultural composition of the local homeless population. Indigenous people comprised a significant proportion of homeless migrants as they do among Sudbury’s homeless peo-ple in general. Most migrants, especially recent and intermediate-term migrants, were absolutely homeless and nearly all had migrated because of unemployment or low wages. The challenges for migrants are com-pounded by isolation and difficulties in finding/ac-cessing services in a new community. Migrants often include the most disadvantaged persons among the homeless, thus increasing existing pressures on ser-vice systems. 
11/13/2017 - 12:02
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Homelessness and Housing in Northeastern Ontario, Canada, First Nation: A Community-Based Project
Abstract: This article describes a study on home-lessness within a First Nation community (NEO FN), including the characteristics and reasons for home-lessness, the size of the at risk population, service utilization, the impact of homelessness and models of collaboration between agencies. An objective was to gather information for the development of a com-munity-based strategy for addressing homelessness, including the need and possibility of establishing transitional housing. The sample for the survey was 86 participants; it included men and women between the ages of 16 to 75. Twenty-seven people also parti-cipated in focus groups.  A substantial proportion of the survey respondents had experienced homelessness in their lifetimes or within the previous year. Thirty-six (42%) survey par-ticipants self-reported homelessness; of these 24 (28%) met the definition of absolute homelessness. Over half of those who were absolutely homeless indicated that the main reason was unemployment or a lack of income followed by a lack of housing available to them.  Despite a lack of housing available in the community, participants stated that families take care of their own members and usually find ways to provide accom-modation, consistent with the traditional values of the community. Participants believed that the need for new housing in the community as well as housing services were paramount. 
11/13/2017 - 11:38
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2015 Report on Housing & Homelessness
Introduction “One of the primary roles of the housing and social services department of the City of Kingston is to administer quality housing and homeless services delivered with the help of our community partners. Each year we highlight the successes of these programs and are pleased to release the fourth annual Report on Housing & Homelessness. You will find updates on the homeless-services system, which was implemented in 2015 as well as statistics on the housing incentive programs.” – Sheldon Laidman Director, housing and social services department
11/12/2017 - 21:22
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Ending Youth Homelessness in KFL&A Update (March 2016)
Voice of Youth Right from the start, the plan has been developed with the voice of youth. Youth have informed the plan at every stage. They identified the causes of youth homelessness in Kingston and area and they recommended solutions to address the issue. In August 2015 a Youth Council was created. The mandate is to ensure voice and perspective of youth is at the forefront of the issue of youth homelessness, youth employment and any other programs that are being designed for youth. The council is made up of a diverse mix of youth recruited through organizations i.e. youth housing, youth employment programs, school boards, Y2K, Pathways to Education, Boys & Girls Club as well as youth in the community. The Youth Council has begun planning for an annual Youth Forum to be held in the spring of 2016 and discussed topics that would be most useful for youth. They have suggested bringing Adolescent Care Workers from both school boards together so they can be better informed about the services in the community and youth homelessness in general. They have also recommended bringing together Guidance Counsellors from high schools to learn about existing and new employment and skills development programs, including careers of the future and new career options. School Boards will work with United Way and the Youth Council to coordinate this.  
11/12/2017 - 21:17
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Youth Employment Strategy (2017)
Four Strategies: 1. Provide Mentoring: Youth can benefit from experiences, connections and advice on how best to pursue employment opportunities. The practical preparation needed by youth is broad, ranging from understanding work culture and expectations, to connecting with others to discover and pursue opportunities, and how to skillfully manage their careers (personal finances, dress, job interviews etc.). 2. Make Employers Part of the Solution: Even when youth are skilled, ready and able, they need job opportunities. Job structure, entry requirements, hiring practices and awareness of incentives for business are all points of interest. 3. Support an Early Start: Helping youth to plan and prepare early for working life can have significant payoffs — for example, learning about potential jobs and careers that might be a good fit for their interests and skills; identifying sectors with good employment possibilities; and seeking insights from informed counsellors. 4. Help Develop Pre-employment Skills: Most youth have many things to learn before they start their first job — and there are many ways to learn them: online, in “boot camps” and through youth employment programs and agency services.
11/12/2017 - 21:10
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A Portable Housing Benefit as an Indispensable Component of Ending Homelessness in Canada
The policy brief, A Portable Housing Benefit as an Indispensable Component of Ending Homelessness in Canada, describes why PHB is a critical part of services delivered by Housing First programs to assist people who have experienced chronic or episodic homelessness to become stably housed. The policy brief also presents the research that has demonstrated its effectiveness, along with a set of recommendations.  Current challenges in implementing a PHB in Canada include: the need to make it available to people experiencing homelessness; marked inconsistencies across communities in its implementation; and a lack of coordination across different levels of government and different government ministries. Our recommendations include: the development of a national PHB, and one that is explicitly linked with a 10-­year plan to end chronic homelessness; the integration of federal and provincial policies regarding a PHB so that they areclear, consistent, coordinated, and coherent; the integration of policy for a PHB among ministries within Ontario so that the implementation of a PHB is clear, consistent, coordinated, and coherent; and the creation of PHBs available through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy
11/06/2017 - 17:26
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Neither Voluntary nor Inevitable: Hidden Homelessness Among Newcomers in York Region (2017)
Neither Voluntary Nor Inevitable: Hidden Homelessness Among Newcomers in York Region aims to paint a comprehensive picture of hidden homelessness among newcomers in York Region. The study, commissioned by The Housing Help Centre (THHC), was conducted to better understand the root causes and factors impacting newcomers that put them at risk of homelessness or becoming homeless; identify ways to address homelessness among the immigrant community in York Region; and the most efficient way of connecting newcomers experiencing homelessness to services in York Region. It used a series of eight focus groups with 70 newcomers to explore these topics.
11/04/2017 - 23:25
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Uprooted-Rerooted Documentary in York Region
Blue Door Shelters presents a short documentary, Uprooted-Rerooted, that conveys the personal stories of some refugees and their families experiencing homelessness. The film tells the powerful stories of homelessness resulting from individuals fleeing their home countries and being received in the shelter system in York Region, and expresses the challenges and triumphs of settling in York Region.
11/04/2017 - 23:20
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2017 Vital Signs
Outline of community connections, environment, learning, living standards, health and the culture of Lethbridge. 
11/01/2017 - 23:08
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Environmental Scan: Subpopulation Housing Needs in Lethbridge
Executive Summary  In collaboration with the City of Lethbridge Community and Social Development Department, an environmental scan was conducted in November 2016 to identify subpopulations most in need of supportive and affordable housing, and to identify housing models best suited to meet the subpopulation needs within Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The data collection process for the environmental scan included consultations with key informants, a review of scholarly and grey literature, and targeted interviews as required. In total, 27 Housing First and other service providers participated in the consultation process, representing 16 different agencies in Lethbridge, for this environmental scan.  The following five key questions were used to focus the scope and guide consultations:  1. What subpopulations are most at-risk for homelessness?  2. What subpopulation is most in-need of supportive permanent or affordable housing in Lethbridge?  3. What housing models are best suited to meet the need of at-risk subpopulations in Lethbridge?  4. What underlying causes or conditions are unique to subpopulations at-risk in Lethbridge?  5. What barriers and/or opportunities exist in Lethbridge to house at-risk subpopulations?  Throughout the consultation process there was a high level of consistency among participants in their responses to the five key questions. For example, when asked to comment on subpopulations most at-risk the participants were quick to identify young adults 18-24, men 30-55 years of age, and people of Aboriginal Status as major risk factors for homelessness. When questioned, who is most in-need of supportive permanent housing respondents indicated people living with addictions, women across all ages, FASD and mental health issues (diagnosed or suspected), also a history of generational poverty and trauma was identified. In addition, specific causes and conditions were identified to further clarify specific risk factors, services, and supports needed for success-based housing initiative in Lethbridge. It should be noted that financial difficulty was not identified as a primary cause or condition of homelessness in Lethbridge for the most at-risk or most in-need subpopulations. Rather, a lack of “appropriate” supportive housing with a focus on harm reduction, guest related evictions, and time limed support services were identified most often.  When participants were asked to comment on housing models to meet the need of at-risk subpopulations the majority quickly identified the need for “more River House” and to “replace Van Haarlem Apartments that burnt down”. Beyond Lethbridge, three examples were referenced most often: Alpha House in Calgary, Bissell Centre in Edmonton, and Buffalo Apartments in Red Deer. When asked to describe the essential elements or assets of the example models respondents indicated the harm reduction approaches, guest management supports, and intensive on-site and ongoing case management as most needed in Lethbridge.  The greatest strength identified by this environmental scan is the genuine interest and desire to engage in solution focused action, this high level of readiness among service providers and agencies presents many opportunities for action-oriented decision-making. There is a high level of interest to collaborate across agencies, however, the coordination and “not knowing” what other agencies are doing was identified as a challenge. Recent changes in the Housing First organizational structure and perceived “hold” on services may be contributing to the lack of awareness across agencies. Also, restructuring seems to have created a “backlog” thus has increased waitlists for Housing First services which is problematic, particularly at a time when inventory is low.  In summary, there is strong motivation to seek out and secure funding to address homelessness for the most at-risk and most in-need subpopulations in Lethbridge. There is a collective readiness and hope among housing professionals and local agencies in Lethbridge thus the timing is right to plan a strategic direction forward. 
11/01/2017 - 23:05
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Saint John's 2016 Progress Report on Homelessness
Mass homelessness continues to be one of the greatest social challenges facing our country. On any given night 35,000 Canadians are homeless, and at least 235,000 will experience homelessness in a year (Gaetz et al, 2016). Saint John, like so many cities across the country, continues to grapple with the issue of housing instability and attempts to gain a better understanding of homelessness in our community. To this end, since 2009, the Human Development Council has released an annual report on homelessness. Often referred to as Homelessness Report Cards, these releases are produced in communities across the country as a way of tracking progress in combating homelessness. In this, Saint John's 2016 Progress Report on Homelessness, we take a closer look at the state of homelessness in our city. Despite the traditional "report card" format of these reports, the intention is not to assign grades or deem Saint John to pass or fail. Instead, we aim to continue a discussion on homelessness, informed by statistics and a deeper understanding of the community's response to this persistent and complex social issue. This year's report highlights some troubling statistics: the number of individuals using Saint John's emergency shelters increased by more than 40%from 2015 to 2016; the average length of stay for individuals was up; and the shelters' occupancy rate increased by 20%. At the same time, the report shines a spotlight on some important local initiatives and profiles Saint John?s Plan to End Youth Homelessness, our community?s progress with ?Housing First?and the results of our first comprehensive Point-in-Time Count. Obtaining an accurate count of homeless individuals remains a near impossible feat. Couch surfers, for example, are not reflected in most local or national statistics, and this report is no exception. This is not because couch surfers are not considered homeless, but because an effective tool for measuring hidden homelessness does not exist. Similarly, we do not know the number of individuals who are at risk of homelessness. This places significant limitations on our ability to paint a full picture of homelessness in Saint John. However, emergency shelter statistics, on which this report is largely based, provide some valuable insight. The numbers are stubborn and perhaps discouraging - but they don't tell the whole story. By providing some context, highlighting local promising practices, and acknowledging a long-term reinvestment in affordable housing by the current federal government, this report attempts to fill in some of the gaps. While we still cannot paint a full picture of homelessness, the report aims to make the picture at least a little clearer. 
11/01/2017 - 23:01
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“It Just Never Worked Out”: How Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth Understand Their Pathways Into Homelessness
Many transgender and gender-expansive young people live outside of mainstream society, due to structural barriers that limit access to employment, health care, education, and public accommodations, as well as prejudice and discrimination within their families and communities. These structural barriers can be understood as cisgenderism. Though a growing body of research examines lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth homelessness, gaps in knowledge about the specific experiences of transgender and gender-expansive homeless youth remain. This phenomenological qualitative investigation explored aspects of transgender and gender-expansive youth's experiences related to homelessness. This article focuses on participants' understanding of their pathways into homelessness.
11/01/2017 - 13:25
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Dufferin County 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2016 Update
Highlights from 2016 include: The creation of three additional affordable housing units for seniors, at 301 First Avenue East, Shelburne. 20,000 Homes Campaign — conducted a 48 hour count of chronic and episodically homeless inDufferin. New partnerships and relationship building efforts with community agencies, e.g. Poverty Task Force and DC MOVES. The 2016 Housing Forum which contained a varied agenda which included: Appreciation/Recognition Awards, Call to Action on Homelessness, Consultation and Information Sharing . Approval for new mixed Housing Development at 54 Lawrence Avenue, Orangeville. 
10/25/2017 - 17:09
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Dufferin County 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2015 Update
Highlights from 2015 The creation of three additional affordable housing units for seniors, at 301 First Avenue East, Shelburne New partnerships and relationship building efforts with community agencies. The 2015 Housing Forum, “Addressing Poverty and Housing in Dufferin County,” presented in partnership with Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (Headwaters Communities in Action) and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Provision of a new Housing Allowance program, and application assistance for the new Ontario Electricity Support Program 
10/25/2017 - 17:05
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Dufferin County 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2014 Update
New Information from MMAH In December 2013, Assistant Deputy Minister Janet Hope informed Consolidated Municipal Service Managers of new reporting requirements for 10 year Housing and Homelessness Plans. The new requirements expanded on existing reporting requirements, and made clear the information that Service Managers must present to both MMAH and to the public. To comply with MMAH requirements, we have included details in this report on the progress made against our 10 year plan, and the measures we use to evaluate our success in meeting out objective targets. Additionally we report on the commuity;s awareness of and feedback on the 10 year plan based on the results of a survey conducted during the 2014 housing forum.    Highlights of Progress  Creation of 24 new affordable housing units Increased dialogue and partnering with local agencies, lower-tier governments and the broader community  2014 Housin Forum, "Housing Solutions for Dufferin Country," presented in partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
10/25/2017 - 17:00
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County of Dufferin 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2016 Report Card
2016 results due to the implementation of the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. 
10/25/2017 - 16:53
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County of Dufferin 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2015 Report Card
2015 results of the implementation of the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. 
10/25/2017 - 16:51
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County of Dufferin 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2014 Report Card
Results of the implementation of the 10 year housing and homelessness plan as of 2014.   
10/25/2017 - 16:49
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London's Homeless Prevention & Housing Plan 2010-2024
London’s Homeless Prevention and Housing planning document incorporates a 14-year period and provides an integrated summary of the homelessness and housing strategies, goals and tactics already developed and taking hold in London. This Plan is built from the experiences and considerations of our community stakeholders - policymakers, service providers, individuals and families with lived experience, funders, advocates, residents and experts – and encapsulates our successes to date and our plans for the next decade, while adhering to the requirements of the Ontario Housing Policy Statement and the Housing Services Act, 2011.  After lengthy community and stakeholder engagement and consultations, Municipal Council approved the London Community Housing Strategy in June 2010 (Appendix One) and the Community Plan on Homelessness in November 2010 (Appendix Two). Both plans were bold and innovative and built on the foundation of a ‘Housing First’ approach. The plans are embedded in the philosophy that the solution to preventing and ending homelessness is housing with supports. This ‘housing with support’ approach assists individuals and families by seeking and supporting the right housing, at the right time, in the right place, with the right level of support to develop long-term housing stability. Our approach is rooted in the concept that individuals and families in a housing crisis, at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing homelessness will secure housing and that other issues including addictions, mental illness and trauma can be better addressed once housing is obtained. 
10/25/2017 - 16:43
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City of Greater Sudbury Report Card on Homelessness for 2016
Homelessness data summary and an outline of Greater Sudbury approach to supporting those who are experiencing homelessness. 
10/24/2017 - 13:39
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City of Greater Sudbury Report Card on Homelessness for 2014
A seven day count was conducted between January 28th, 2015 and February 3rd, 2015. Surveys were conducted with people at 31 different service locations within the core and outlying areas of Greater Sudbury. The count was extended to food banks, meal services, and outlying areas until February 27th, 2015. The survey tool allowed for identification and removal of duplicate cases. This report card outlines the findings of that count. 
10/24/2017 - 13:35
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City of Greater Sudbury Report Card on Homelessness for 2013
Outline of what the City of Greater Sudbury has in place to address the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  
10/24/2017 - 13:27
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Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada
Indigenous homelessness is a human condition that describes First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals, families or communities lacking stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means or ability to acquire such housing. Unlike the common colonialist definition of homelessness, Indigenous homelessness is not defined as lacking a structure of habitation; rather, it is more fully described and understood through a composite lens of Indigenous worldviews. These include: individuals, families and communities isolated from their relationships to land, water, place, family, kin, each other, animals, cultures, languages and identities. Importantly, Indigenous people experiencing these kinds of homelessness cannot culturally, spiritually, emotionally or physically reconnect with their Indigeneity or lost relationships (Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness, 2012). From the Research Matters Blog Reframing the Discussion: An Indigenous Definition of Homelessnessby Jesse Thistle
10/21/2017 - 09:35
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Poverty Trends 2017
CPJ released Poverty Trends 2017, our annual report on poverty in Canada, a week ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It reports that a staggering 4.8 million people in Canada (or 13.9%) live in poverty. The report uses the Low-Income Measure (LIM), which defines the poverty rate as a 50 per cent of the median Canadian household income. Poverty Trends 2017 identifies several key demographics of people in Canada that have particularly high poverty rates: Working-age adults (14.7%): Most adults living in poverty are employed. Single working-age adults (42.9%): Working-age adults are often overlooked and have limited policy supports. People with disabilities aged 25-64 (23.0%): People with disabilities are highly vulnerable to poverty, particularly those facing multiple discriminations. Children in single-parent families (43.4%): Single parent families are most often female-led (80%), and of these households, Indigenous women, racialized women, and women with disabilities have higher poverty rates. Indigenous people (25.3%): High poverty rates for Indigenous people are part of the continued legacy of colonization. New immigrants and refugees (34.2%): Refugees and refugee claimants remain vulnerable to poverty after settling in Canada. Poverty Trends 2017 also includes a breakdown of poverty rates by province and territory. Nunavut continues to have the highest poverty rate in Canada (29.0%), followed by Manitoba (18.2%) and the Northwest Territories (16.2%). Among major Canadian cities, Toronto has the highest rate of poverty at 17.0%, followed by Vancouver (16.9%) and Windsor (16.2%).  Data on poverty rates in Canada are an essential part of understanding the complex reality of poverty. However, in addition to economic measures, poverty also involves social, political, and cultural marginalization, with impacts on self-worth, spiritual vitality, and the well-being of communities. Individuals that face multiple barriers have an increased vulnerability to poverty. The complex reality of poverty and its far-reaching effects for individuals and society in Canada requires a comprehensive, rights-based national anti-poverty plan. Ultimately, this plan must be grounded in the dignity of all people and the well-being of individuals and communities.
10/20/2017 - 07:51
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2017 Life in BC Snapshots: Poverty and Inequality, Housing and Homelessness 
Things aren’t getting better for the people of BC Two years ago, The Federation of Community Social Services of BC scoured the news, research, and literature to take a snapshot of what life in BC was like. We wanted to understand how good things were for the people of our province. We also wanted to investigate important aspects of day-to-day life that get overlooked by a government focused on economic prosperity. Things didn’t look that great. And two years later, they are no better. We have updated these snapshots to prove that point and to help you talk about the state of our province and the things that need to change in order for the people of British Columbia to actually prosper and thrive. Poverty & Inequality Despite being one of the wealthiest provinces in the country, 13.2% of the population of BC (595,000 British Columbians) live in poverty. More than 16% of households in northern BC struggle to put food on the table. BC is the only province in Canada without a Poverty Reduction Plan. Housing & Homelessness Dealing with the housing crisis in BC would require a doubling of BC Housing’s current operating budget. BC needs to add 5000 subsidized housing units a year for 5 years just to meet the growing need. 
10/16/2017 - 10:26
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Guide to Living with Roommates
Are you living (or looking to live) with Roommates? For many people who are renting, getting a roommate is a way to make it affordable. A greater and increasing proportion of households are roommate situations. The Residential Tenancy Act has gaps when applied to roommates: legal issues related to subletting and joint tenancies; inadequate paperwork; lack of knowledge of the legal options; and lack of protection and avenues to pursue if things go wrong. The RentSmart Roommate Guide is for anyone who has roommates and housemates now or will in the future. It will: Help increase successful roommate situations. Provide information on why people have roommates, how to choose a good roommate, how to be a good roommate, roommate agreements, common roommate issues, and what to do when things don’t work out. Give you a list of where to go for help when issues arise. Help you understand what you need to know about roommates and housemates. Allow you to have peace of mind so you can enjoy your home with a roommate(s).
10/16/2017 - 10:19
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An Inner City Emergency Medicine Rotation Does Not Improve Attitudes toward the Homeless among Junior Medical Learners
Introduction Learners in the emergency department (ED) frequently encounter individuals who are homeless. We sought to evaluate the effect of an inner city emergency medicine rotation at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) on the attitudes of medical students and residents towards this population. Methods Data were collected both pre- and post-rotation using an electronic survey. Data collected included demographic information and as well as scores on the Health Professionals’ Attitudes Towards the Homeless Inventory (HPATHI). Pre- and post-survey results were compared using Wilcoxon tests. Results Ninety-eight students completed the rotation. A total of 40 (41%) students completed both pre- and post-surveys. Demographic information was available for 66 respondents. Most participants were male (42 {64%}), single (47 {71%}), and 30 years of age or younger (59 {89%}). Most participants were of a Caucasian or East/South Asian background (61 {92%}) and grew up in an urban setting (51 {77%}). Overall, 43 (90%) participants saw at least one person who was homeless during their rotation. There was no significant difference between pre- and post- aggregate scores (z = -0.78, p = 0.44), or any of its three subscales (Personal Advocacy, Social Advocacy, and Cynicism). Conclusion First year residents and medical students are frequently exposed to patients who are homeless during an inner city ED rotation. Attitudes towards these patients did not significantly change following the rotation. Educational objectives should be set to improve attitudes of learners towards those with unstable housing throughout the ED rotation.
10/14/2017 - 18:40
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Children living in low-income households
The well-being of children has long been a priority for Canadians. In 1893, Ontario enacted the first comprehensive child welfare legislation in Canada, and, in 1944, Canada introduced the Family Allowance Act, which provided universal benefits for every child. In 1989, the House of Commons resolved to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. Poverty reduction legislation has also been adopted more recently in many provinces and territories. Under various government programs, Canadian families receive significant financial support for children, and Canada has made important progress in alleviating child poverty since the mid-1990s. Although there is no single agreed-upon measure of poverty in Canada, it is well known that having low income is a major aspect of living in poverty. A key purpose of the census is to provide information on small population groups, both in terms of geography and in terms of demographic characteristics. This article focuses on persons who were younger than 18 at the time of the 2016 Census and living in low-income households. Children represent almost one-quarter of low-income persons in Canada. There were 4.8 million Canadians living in a low-income household in 2015, of whom 1.2 million (nearly one in four) were children.
10/11/2017 - 14:50
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Characteristics of adherence to methadone maintenance treatment over a 15-year period among homeless adults experiencing mental illness
Background Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) has important protective effects related to reduced illicit opioid use, infectious disease transmission, and overdose mortality. Adherence to MMT has not been examined among homeless people. We measured MMT adherence and reported relevant characteristics among homeless adults experiencing mental illness in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Material and methods Homeless adults living with mental illness who had received MMT prior to the baseline interview of the Vancouver At Home study (n = 78) were included in analyses. The medication possession ratio (MPR) was used to estimate MMT adherence from retrospective administrative pharmacy and public health insurance data collected across 15 years. Independent sample t tests and one-way ANOVA were used to test for significant differences in MMT MPR by participant characteristics. Results Mean MMT MPR was 0.47. A large proportion of participants reported blood-borne infectious disease, three or more chronic physical health conditions, and substance use. Being single and never married was associated with significantly lower MMT MPR (0.40 vs. 0.55, p = 0.036), while living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or a mood disorder with psychotic features was associated with significantly higher MMT MPR (0.54 vs. 0.37, p = 0.022). Daily drug use (excluding alcohol) was associated with significantly lower MMT MPR (0.39 vs. 0.54, p = 0.051). Conclusions The level of adherence to MMT was very low among homeless adults experiencing mental illness. Efforts are needed to improve adherence to MMT as a means of reducing illicit substance use, preventing overdose deaths, and attenuating infectious disease transmission.
10/11/2017 - 14:35
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Homelessness Partnering Strategy Community Plan 2014–2019
Homelessness partnering strategy community plan for Kelowna, BC. 
10/09/2017 - 16:53
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CMHC Rental Market Report Saskatchewan Highlights 2016
Rental market conditions soften as economy impacted by low commodity prices. „„The average apartment vacancy rate across Saskatchewan’s urban centres rose from 6.8 per cent in October 2015 to 9.4 per cent in October 2016.In the fall 2016 survey, apartment vacancy rates in the province’s Census Agglomerations (CAs) ranged from 3.3 per cent in Moose Jaw to 27.6 per cent in Estevan. Saskatchewan’s largest urban centres of Regina and Saskatoon saw average apartment vacancy rates of 5.5 and 10.3 per cent, respectively. For units common to both the October 2016 and 2015 surveys, the average two-bedroom apartment rent in Saskatchewan decreased 1.2 per cent. 
10/09/2017 - 13:33
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CMHC Rental Market Report Québec Highlights 2016
According to the results of the Rental Market Survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in October, 4.4 per cent of the over 836,000 housing units in Quebec were vacant in October 2016. The provincial vacancy rate therefore remained stable in relation to the estimated rate for last year. Of the province’s 44 urban centres, about 60 per cent recorded no significant variations in their vacancy rates, nearly 30 per cent posted increases and just over 10 per cent showed decreases. 
10/09/2017 - 13:27
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2016 PiT Executive Summary
The PEI Community Advisory Board (CAB) on Homelessness is an interagency board whose mandate is to work to address homeless among populations and those at risk of becoming homeless in the designated communities of Charlottetown and Summerside. The CAB is made up of non-profit and public sector agencies. The CAB received federal funding to conduct a point in time count within a defined period of time in the communities of Charlottetown and Summerside. This funding was limited to these designated communities, and while the CAB, for this point in time count, do not address other communities because of this limitation, it does recognize that homelessness is an Island issue. Communities in Canada, including Summerside and Charlottetown, have previously undertaken point in time homelessness counts, each using their own methods and approaches. A point in time survey method is not a measure of everyone who experiences homelessness in a community over time. By focusing on a single day, a count will not include some people who cycle in and out of homelessness. What it does provide is an estimate of how many of these people are homeless at a given point in time. 
10/09/2017 - 13:24
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Rental Market Report Prince Edward Island Highlights 2016
Key Findings „„Lower vacancy rates for Charottetown and Summerside contributed to an overall decline in the provincial vacancy rate. „„Immigration is the key driver of rental demand throughout the province. „„Townhouses are a popular purpose-built rental unit in Summerside. 
10/09/2017 - 13:22
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Prince Edward Island Poverty Progress Profile 2016
Although the direct cost of poverty for the Government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) has been calculated at almost $100 million per year (with additional indirect costs of $220 million),1 the government has not made additional commitments to ending poverty in the province since the expiry of its poverty plan in 2015. The previous poverty plan, entitled Social Action Plan to Reduce Poverty, was created in response to a commitment in the 2010 Speech from the Throne and covered a three-year span. The plan’s primary focus included employment and education. Poverty in PEI manifests in visible ways for the small island population. Concretely, PEI is host to high rates of food insecurity, unemployment, and low minimum wages. 
10/09/2017 - 13:21
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2015 PEI Report on Homelessness
The fourth PEI Report on Homelessness is published by the PEI Community Advisory Board on Homelessness, an interagency board representing non-profit and public sector agencies that work with homeless populations and those at risk of becoming homeless. A complete list of organizations represented is included on page 8. Through the publication of this report, the Board wishes to increase awareness and action about issues surrounding homelessness, poverty, and housing in Prince Edward Island. 
10/09/2017 - 13:19
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City of Windsor 2016 Point in Time Count & 20,000 Homes Campaign Registry Week Final Report September 2016
As part of its commitment to the National Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’ 20,000 Homes Campaign and its local goal to end homelessness, the City of Windsor in partnership with the Homeless Coalition of Windsor Essex County, coordinated the first local Point in Time and Registry Week initiative on April 19 and 20, 2016. During this community event, more than 240 trained com- munity volunteers were deployed throughout the city and county to ensure that individuals, families and youth experiencing homelessness received an opportunity to be counted and surveyed. Engagements occurred in shelters, on the streets, and in various facilities that serve people experiencing homelessness. This Point in Time Count event, which included a housing and support needs survey known as the Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT), provides new, critical information for Windsor to move forward in ending homelessness. This report provides an overview of the insights and findings of the 2016 Point in Time Count and Registry Week in Windsor. On any given night, 201 people experience homelessness in the Windsor area. Many of these are homeless men in their mid 30’s and 40’s becoming stuck in a cycle of shelter use and temporary lo- cations such as staying with family and friends for long periods of time such that their homelessness is chronic. Most adults have been homeless 5.5 months out of the past 12 months, and on average it has been almost 2 years (22.46 months) since any survey participant had permanent stable housing. They have to rely on emergency services to have their health and safety needs met. Of those who completed the prescreen survey, 7 out of 10 reported physical health concerns. Another 35% reported having a chronic physical health condition. During the enumeration and registry initiative, 201 individuals (including 7 families with 10 dependent children) in the City of Windsor and the County of Essex were identified as experiencing homelessness during this 24-hour period. Given the limitations of any isolated point in time investigation, this number should be considered the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in the City of Windsor and County of Essex. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed were adults between the ages of 25 and 64, while 21% were youth aged 15-24 and 3% were 65 years of age or older. The youngest unaccompanied single surveyed was 16 and the oldest was 77 years of age. The overall average age of respondents was 37 years of age. As is often the scenario in communities, 76% of the individuals experiencing homelessness were male, 23% were female and the remaining 1% either refusing to answer or indicating otherwise. Interestingly, female respondents were more likely to rely on hidden homeless options such as staying with friends than their male counterparts. In addition to age and gender demographics, 29% of the people experiencing homelessness self-identified as being of Aboriginal ancestry with 6% of the respondents identifying their veteran status. Although 24% of the respondents identified that they had moved to Windsor in the past year, a small proportion (3%) were of immigrant or refugee status. While there are many people that are street involved, especially during daylight hours, “staying out- doors” was identified as the most common place to sleep for a very small proportion of people experiencing homelessness (5%). Forty percent of all individuals identified couch surfing as their primary means of shelter in Windsor; therefore, an emphasis on addressing hidden homelessness in Windsor is important for strategic planning. Beyond non-permanent locations where a person has no fixed address like sleeping at a friend’s house, homelessness in Windsor is primarily found in shelters. Six- ty-four percent of respondents identified that they had stayed in a shelter over the past 12 months and 46% of individuals identified an emergency shelter or transitional housing unit as where they would be sleeping that night.  
10/09/2017 - 00:58
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Municipality of Chatham-Kent Health and Family Services Ontario Works Information Report 2011
BACKGROUND Since January 2007, the Ontario Works caseload has increased by 45% from 2401 cases to 3466 cases in May, 2011. For several months the caseload remained stable but it has now started to slowly increase again. The Ministry of Community and Social Services has projected the average caseload for October 2010 – September 2011 to be 3499 and predicted that it will continue to rise to 3597 for the same time period in 2011-12. During the past four years the caseload composition has changed as well. There has been a significant increase in the number of single people on the caseload and a decrease in the number of sole-support families on the caseload. 
10/09/2017 - 00:55
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Waterloo Region 20,000 Homes Campaign Registry Week Pilot Report August 2015
Background and Purpose This report provides final results and a progress update on the Waterloo Region 20,000 Homes Campaign Registry Week Pilot. Waterloo Region was the first community in Canada to pilot a 20,000 Homes Registry Week. This report shares the overall success of the pilot, and identifies how the information has supported the community to move closer to its goal of ending homelessness. 20,000 Homes Campaign and Registry Week The 20,000 Homes Campaign was inspired by the successful 100,000 Homes Campaign in the United States, where 186 cities, counties and states housed 105,580 vulnerable and persistently homeless individuals and families in less than four years (July 2010 to July 2014). The 20,000 Homes Campaign has been adapted to work in a Canadian context and was launched June 16, 2015 by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH). The 20,000 Homes Campaign will engage communities to work together to permanently house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness by July 1, 2018. The Campaign approach typically begins with a Registry Week, during which volunteers are trained to conduct a short health and housing survey with everyone experiencing homelessness. The survey collects person-specific information to know people experiencing homelessness by name and better understand their level of vulnerability and acuity (or depth of need). This data provides the community with the unique ability to tailor responses and track progress towards ending homelessness, person by person. In the fall of 2014, teams of volunteers in Waterloo Region were assembled to conduct surveys with people experiencing homelessness on November 30 and December 1. The initial findings and a short video were shared at the Community Debrief meeting on December 3, 2014. Since that time, results have been further analyzed and then compared to Registry Week pilot results from Ottawa and Hamilton (conducted in April 2015). 
10/09/2017 - 00:52
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Toronto's Vital Signs 2016 Report
Ten issue areas and hundreds of data points over 15 years. That’s what Toronto Foundation has tracked since the 2001 launch of Toronto’s Vital Signs. Vital Signs – our report on the quality of life in Toronto – has been a welcome and necessary addition to this city and is read by a million people each year. The report also spurred a global movement: Vital Signs has been replicated in more than 80 communities worldwide. What have we learned in 15 years of producing Vital Signs? First, that your view of Toronto depends on who you are and where you live. For instance, if you live in one of Toronto’s low-income neighbourhoods, you may be in a “food swamp” where unhealthy food choices abound. And if Toronto wants to be truly healthy, it must also be equitable. The other thing we’ve learned is that good people with innovative ideas are required to shape this city’s future. Happily, this is something Toronto has in spades, as we've discovered over many years of working on solutions to the issues identified in Toronto's Vital Signs. This year’s Vital Signs Report features where (in the 10 issue areas we track each year) Toronto is doing well, including on the environment, in education, and civic engagement. You’ll also see areas where improvement is needed, from hunger and child poverty, to housing and mental health. Plus, you’ll discover where Toronto stands on the global stage, its demographic make- up, and economic position. We encourage you to check out the Toronto Star special section which shares highlights of Toronto’s Vital Signs 2016, along with articles written by Toronto Star writers who have produced a series of fascinating stories about what people are doing across this city to make Toronto a success and improve quality of life for all. It also features interviews with three experts who take a look at this year’s data and share their insights about what it says about Toronto’s future. You can find this special section at torontosvitalsigns.ca. The Full Report is overflowing with information and insights that we believe you will find useful for your family and where you live and work. We know this first hand. We bring together diverse partners to help us build the Vital Signs Report. And the report then becomes a call to action for city builders – including philanthropists – convened by the Toronto Foundation to tackle complex challenges and identify solutions. This fifteenth report is an important milestone. But let us assure you that we are not just looking back – our focus is squarely on the future. Toronto is firmly rooted in a global community of leading cities. Let’s strengthen what’s going well and work together to build an even healthier – and more equitable – Toronto. 
10/09/2017 - 00:48
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Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board - Ontario Works Service Plan 2017-2018
The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB recognizes the ongoing economic challenges that have developed in the past years. Our catchment area is one that relies heavily on resource based industries. Those have been affected greatly with the global economy. As a result, we see job losses, work shortages and downsizing. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB has noticed a steady caseload as clients apply for assistance for a variety of reasons and as well the equal amount who exit the system due to employment. We have also seen an increase of repeat clients who exhaust other financial resources (example: EIB, RRSP, etc.). The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB is well positioned to address these factors. We also acknowledge that there will be a greater impact on our harder to serve clients that may be competing with a more “employment ready” work pool. We are dedicated to work diligently to tailor our programs to meet the needs of our clients and communities. 
10/09/2017 - 00:45
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City of Greater Sudbury Report Card on Homelessness 2015
Sudbury Report on Homelessness In January 2015, a homelessness count was conducted in Greater Sudbury. 440 people surveyed stated they were absolutely homeless, and another 979 declared they were at risk of homelessness.  
10/09/2017 - 00:43
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Homelessness in Sault Ste. Marie: 2016 Point-in-Time Count
The 2016 Sault Ste. Marie Point-in-Time Homelessness Count was designed by the Homelessness Hub and Homelessness Partnering Strategy to capture the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in a community at a given time (February 18th, 2016 from 11:00am-1:00pm). The Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN, 2012), had categorized the definition of homelessness to contain four major categories: (i) unsheltered, or absolutely homeless living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation; (ii) emergency sheltered, including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence; (iii) provisionally accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure, and (iv) at risk of homelessness, referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/ or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards. Beyond this, an extension of these typologies is that of chronic homelessness, which is defined by the CHRN; as an individual or family with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.Our study was structured around collecting data that would reflect the minimum number of people living in Sault Ste. Marie that were experiencing homelessness. 
10/09/2017 - 00:40
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Housing and Homelessness Action Plan for Niagara - Appendix C
A closer look at specific issues faced by households and sub-populations across the housing market is warranted to better understand the housing situation in Niagara. These issues and gaps have been identified through demographic trends, reports and statistics, and have been augmented by feedback from the various HHAP consultations. 
10/09/2017 - 00:36
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City and County of Peterborough Social Services/ Customer Service Report 2016
This report is to provide an update on our enhancements to customer service. We will be alternating the focus of reports with the first and third reports continuing to cover overall data, financials and statistics; while the second and fourth reports will focus on Customer Service enhancements and Quality Assurance initiatives of the Division.  
10/09/2017 - 00:28
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Peterborough 10-year Housing & Homelessness Plan Progress Report 2016
Housing and Homelessness Plan "Progress Report 2016" The Progress Report 2016 has been received by members of the Joint Services Steering Committee (on June 8, 2017). This report shows the third year's progress towards reaching the outcomes in the 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan for Peterborough (2014 to 2024).  It captures key accomplishments from the twenty (20) commitments set out in the Plan. They range from creating forty-seven (47) new units of affordable housing to helping move thirty-two (32) people who were homeless into permanent housing with supports. Thanks to the contribution from internal and external stakeholders, this Progress Report provides an update on our work.  This is only the third year of the Plan, with a number of projects and initiatives in their early stages of development but expected to make positive impacts for the future. This report also includes priority action items for the 2017 year.
10/09/2017 - 00:27
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AHAC Housing Survey 2016
The Supply Committee of the Affordable Housing Action Committee (A.H.A.C.), a committee of both Peterborough City and Peterborough County has compiled the data of their recent housing survey. In short, the intention of the survey was to ascertain the significance of housing in individuals’ lives. 626 respondents submitted perceptions of housing impacts, housing related social outcomes, and housing’s role in the local economy. 
10/09/2017 - 00:25
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Peel's Housing and Homelessness Plan: A Community Strategy 2014-2024 - Year 3 Update 2016
The Province of Ontario requires Service Managers (SM), such as the Region of Peel, to have a 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. The plan addresses the full housing continuum and sets out goals for increasing housing and ending homelessness with strategies to achieve them. The housing continuum, as shown in the graphic below, represents a range of responses to people’s varying housing needs. Working toward the appropriate mix of housing and service options along the housing continuum helps contribute to the Region’s vision of community for life. The Peel Housing and Homelessness Plan (PHHP) was developed with input from the community and approved by Regional Council in 2013. This report represents the third annual update and second year of implementation of the PHHP outlining accomplishments by plan objective. In 2016, the Region of Peel spent $176,444,778 to deliver housing and homelessness programs. This consists of federal, provincial and regional funding. A key part of the Region of Peel’s role as SM is planning, funding and monitoring housing and homelessness projects. Tackling the complex issues of housing and homelessness requires involvement from all stakeholders in the community. 2016 saw progress on affordable housing and homelessness at all levels of government. The federal government took concrete steps toward the development of a National Housing Strategy as well as making some new funding commitments. The Province of Ontario continued to move on the direction established in the renewal of its Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy. This included providing new land use planning tools to municipalities to support the creation of new affordable housing. The Region emphasized its commitment to affordable housing by creating a Term of Council Priority under its new 20 year Strategic Plan to increase affordable housing and has focused efforts on reducing the time to placement for households on the Centralized Wait List. Local municipalities undertook significant work on land use planning policies to support the development of affordable housing, in addition to local municipal housing strategies and activities. 
10/09/2017 - 00:23
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Point-in-Time Count MI-519 Holland/Ottawa County CoC
Homelessness point-in-time count for Holland/Ottawa County.
10/09/2017 - 00:20
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2016 Progress Report on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa
Ottawa’s Ten-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan (2014-2023) includes a number of commitments and targets to achieve by 2024. By focusing on an increase in affordable housing options and on ensuring people get the support they need, the Plan envisions fewer emergency shelter stays overall – and stays of 30 days or less (an end to chronic homelessness) – by 2024. To ensure progress, the Alliance measures annual change in several areas related to emergency shelters, housing affordability and the number of new affordable housing options created each year. Of course, shelter data is only one indication of homelessness; other individuals in our community are among the ‘hidden homeless,’ staying with friends and family, or in unsheltered environments. All are without a home of their own.  For the second consecutive year, 2016 saw a rise in the number of individuals using an emergency shelter: from 6,815 individuals in 2015 to 7,170 in 2016, an increase of 355 individuals, or 5.2% (Table 1). The number of “bed nights” – representing each time a shelter bed is used by an individual – increased from 500,233 to 525,972, an increase of 5.1%.
10/09/2017 - 00:18
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DNSSAB 2015 Annual Report
Annual homelessness report for the city of Nipissing.  The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) approved a strategic plan that defined choices that would effect change in the organization and create optimum value for Stakeholders. The Mission and Vision are rooted in the organization’s core values of being people-focused, pro-active, innovative, empowering and collaborative.  
10/09/2017 - 00:15
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Solving Homelessness Together London's 2015-2016 Enumeration Results
1.1 THE PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT Solving Homelessness Together: London’s 2015-2016 Enumeration Results provides a point-in-time snapshot of homelessness in London. This report includes a count of individuals experiencing absolute homelessness at specific points in time in London, Ontario. The data in this report was collected during Registry Week, held in October 2015, and the Point-in-Time Count, which occurred six months later, in April 2016. Registry Week and the Point-in-Time Count are referred to as “enumeration events” throughout this document. Enumeration events are relatively new in Canada and many communities are examining and piloting various strategies. London’s enumeration events had a similar intent of testing strategies to learn how to best enumerate homelessness in our community. Baseline data assists in efforts to address homelessness in London. While an enumeration event has limitations, it provides a starting point for measurement in London. Over time, results can be used to track progress in solving homelessness. 1.2 SOLVING HOMELESSNESS ACROSS CANADA The Homelessness Partnering Strategy, through the Government of Canada, is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing funding to communities across Canada. 1.3 SOLVING HOMELESSNESS IN ONTARIO Solving homelessness is an important issue. Understanding homelessness in Ontario is limited due to the lack of comparable data across communities. In 2016, the Government of Ontario released Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update, which included next steps in ending homelessness in Ontario. Legislative amendments requiring Service Managers to conduct local enumeration of the homeless population was identified as a key step in understanding homelessness in Ontario and tracking trends over time.
10/09/2017 - 00:10
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London's Emergency Shelters Progress Report 2011-2015
Emergency Shelters Emergency shelters play a vital role in the continuum of services available to homeless individuals and families.  Residing in an emergency shelter is intended to provide immediate and overnight accommodation and basic needs for individuals and families who have no permanent address.
10/09/2017 - 00:08
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Homelessness Prevention & Housing Plan 2010 - 2024
The Homeless Prevention and Housing Plan 2010 to 2024: The Homeless Prevention and Housing Plan  relies upon and updates our existing homelessness and housing strategies to ensure all HSA legislative requirements are met and extend out to the required ten year legislated duration.  The Homeless Prevention and Housing Plan acts as an umbrella document reflecting work that has been ongoing for over 10 years through the current and relevant London Community Housing Strategy and Community Plan on Homelessness, as well as other housing and homelessness related plans, consultation, and service activities - including those within Re-Think London, Age Friendly LondonLondon CAReS, and the more recent Homeless Prevention System for London – A Three Year Implementation Plan, (CPSC April 2013). 
10/09/2017 - 00:05
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LMHC Strategic Plan 2017-2020
The London & Middlesex Housing Corporation presents its latest strategic plan that will guide the organization through to the year 2020. This three-year LMHC strategic plan is different from all previous strategic plans in two significant ways. First, the strategy declares the corporation’s intention to establish a new foundation for the future. This intention, supported by seven (7) strategic goals provides the architecture and scaffold- ing for the new direction. The foundation will be based upon regenerating, revitalizing and building new properties to house and, importantly, support the people of London and Middlesex County to help tenants experience safety, housing stability and a sense of community while living in LMHC properties. Second, the process to develop this strategy was robust, intense and inclusive to achieve alignment of all stakeholders from the Shareholder to the LMHC Board to Tenants re- garding the commitment to change how LMHC is governed and how it operates. Figure 1 is an illustration of the alignment that we have attained during this process and how the 2017-2020 Strategy is framed by its new Mission, Vision and Values. This strategy is also different in how it is being presented. We have carefully captured and distilled the significant events during the past 16 years of LMHC’ s history as a social housing provider. That context will help our stakeholders understand and support the changes that we have outlined in our seven strategic goals and, especially, the fourth goal to engage, assist and empower our tenants. For added context and to acknowledge that we cannot get to where we want to be in three years without community partnerships, we have connected the LMHC strategy to several municipal plans that address homelessness, poverty, affordable housing and the City of London Strategic Plan, 2015-2019. We have been candid in this document about the challenges that we are facing be- yond the traditional SWOT technique that deals with internal and external variable – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Our direct, revealing approach to describe our internal current reality will provide an evidence-based touchstone for the future. Social housing is not the same as affordable housing. Affordable housing is open to a broader range of household incomes than social housing.Households do not have to be eligible for social housing to apply for affordable housing, though people who are eligible for social housing may also be eligible for affordable housing properties. LMHC wants to provide these housing forms (and more) to achieve mixed income profiles in new build properties as well as in some regenerated or revitalized properties. This will also provide LMHC with an improved income stream to support proactive operational initiatives and maintenance. Many LHMC properties have reached the end of their useful lifetimes and need regener- ation. Changing demographics are not well served by projects designed for the needs of previous generations. For instance, 10 years ago, Wi-Fi would not have been considered an essential service and our aging population in London and Middlesex is living longer while their need for supports increase. We have included an IT ‘White Paper’ in our strategic plan because information tech- nology and systems will play an increasingly larger role in how LMHC conducts its business.1 Technology will help the organization leverage its services while providing real-time information regarding its key performance indicators, metrics and measures. Having the right people with the right skills in the right positions will be essential for success while applying lean business techniques and tools to keep the overall staff count at an optimal level. LMHC currently has 56 permanent, full-time positions. The con- sultant made a preliminary estimate of additional staff that will be required to imple- ment the strategy and the final number will be determined during the development of the Implementation Plan between July and December 2017. The Directors, Managers and Staff of LMHC have been waiting for this opportunity to mobilize their initiatives and ideas. Culturally, we know that trust and commitment levels are variable because these elements have been measured along with three other dimen- sions of teamwork - conflict, accountability and results - that provide data points and a baseline reference. The people of LMHC are talented and eager for positive change so we will measure the five dimensions again at the end of 2017 to determine our pro- gress with teamwork, especially cross-departmental teamwork. The Local Housing Corporations in Ontario, including LMHC, are managed by 47 Ser- vice Managers and there is agreement that they do not have access to the right amount of capital that is necessary to repair and maintain current units to a consistent standard of repair, let alone develop a new supply of units that is sufficient to meet increasing de- mands. LMHC will work closely with the City of London, the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager and the new Housing Development Corporation to identify financial tools and tailored, best practices to give LMHC more financial flexibility to implement its strategic plan. Access to the City’s VFA software for capital and asset tracking and analysis is an example of just one of the shared services that will add to LMHC’s corporate core capabilities.   
10/09/2017 - 00:04
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Community Update Report; London Community Housing Strategy (LCHS) and Integrated Community Plan on Homelessness (CPH) May 2011
That, on the recommendation of the Director of Social and Community Support Services and the Director of Municipal Housing, and with the concurrence of the Executive Director of Community Services, the following report regarding the implementation plan update and reporting format related to the London Community Housing Strategy (LCHS) and lntegrated Community Plan on Homelessness (CPH) BE RECEIVED for information purposes. 
10/09/2017 - 00:00
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Results of the Urban Kingston 2016 Point-in-Time Count
On April 6, 2016, United Way KFLA, through a grant from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), conducted a coordinated Point in Time (PiT) Homeless Count in urban Kingston as part of the first nationally coordinated PiT count. A total of 91 people were found to be absolutely homeless on April 6, 2016. Absolute homelessness refers to those individuals who are unsheltered or “sleeping rough,” and those who are emergency sheltered. These individuals were staying in an emergency shelter, domestic violence shelter, an institution, or in public spaces on the night of the count. Employment and Social Development Council defines emergency shelters as: An additional 46 individuals were staying in transitional housing. The HPS defines transitional housing as: Housing facilities that provide services beyond basic needs and that, while not permanent, generally allow for a longer length of stay than emergency housing facilities (up to three years). These facilities offer more privacy to residents than emergency housing. Transitional housing is targeted to those in need of structure, support, and/or skill-building to move from homelessness to housing stability, and ultimately to prevent a return to homelessness. 
10/08/2017 - 23:57
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A Socio‐Economic Profile of Kingston, Ontario - 2008
Kingston is the largest city in Eastern Ontario, with a growth rate well below the provincial average and below that of Eastern Ontario. Kingston’s large area relative to its population gives it a low population density, a characteristic Kingston shares with most of the rest of Eastern Ontario. On a percentage basis, the city has a larger rural population than most comparator cities and of equal percentage to the province as a whole. The median age of Kingston’s population is in the mid‐range for comparator cities and is significantly lower than Eastern Ontario counties. Kingston has a slightly smaller 0‐19 age group than other comparable communities, has about the same proportion of its population in the core labour force (age 25‐64) as these communities, and has a slightly larger proportion of retirement age citizens (65 and over) than comparable cities but not Eastern Ontario as a whole. Over the long term, this means Kingston will have to increase the relative size of the “young family” contingent, import labour or convince more of the 20‐24 age group to stay in the community. Kingston’s population is generally well‐educated in comparison to other cities or the surrounding rural areas. This is concentrated in the university‐educated group rather than the college‐educated or skills trades/apprenticeship categories. In this latter category, Kingston trails every county in Eastern Ontario and some of the comparator cities. As a result, it could be said that the rural areas need the educated population in Kingston and Kingston needs the college‐ educated/skilled trades population in the surrounding rural areas. When considering the presence of visible minorities, Kingston is in the middle of the pack of comparator cities, behind “benchmark” cities such as London, Guelph, Ottawa, Waterloo and Oshawa, and well ahead of all Eastern Ontario counties. Comparing Kingston.... For the purposes of this analysis, Kingston has been compared to two sets of comparator cities: London, Guelph, Barrie, Waterloo, Sarnia and Ottawa – larger cities outside the traditional definition of “Eastern Ontario”. Belleville, Brockville, Oshawa and Peterborough – smaller cities within or bordering “Eastern Ontario”. Kingston has also been compared to the 13 counties (including any separated cities within the outer boundary) which make up “Eastern Ontario”. Where possible, Eastern Ontario has been analysed with and without Kingston to determine the difference such a definitional difference makes when considering the economic circumstances of the region. In comparison to other similar cities, Kingston has a more mobile population than most (measured by the percentage of the population having moved across municipal boundaries in the past year) and is in the upper end of the spectrum of mobility for Eastern Ontario counties. Despite Kingston’s educational advantage, average individual earnings in Kingston are lower than in most comparator cities but higher than most Eastern Ontario counties. Average family incomes in Kingston are lower than in some – but not all – comparable cities. Note that these conclusions are based on either 2000 census data or 2005 estimates. Based on the 2006 Census Canada calculation of the percentage of households with incomes below the Low Income Cut‐off (LICO) level, Kingston has a higher proportion of its households in low income categories (15.4 per cent) than virtually all other comparator cities, higher than the provincial average, and higher than all 13 counties in Eastern Ontario. Kingston shares the characteristic of having a reasonably large percentage of wage‐ earners bringing home less than $20,000 a year with many other Eastern Ontario communities. The percentage of low‐income earners in Kingston (44.2%) is higher than in every other comparator city outside the region. A persistent social assistance caseload in Kingston and South Frontenac (especially given the strength of the national economy) suggests that there may be factors at work in Kingston that are not present to the same degree elsewhere. Similarly, Kingston has a smaller percentage of its wage‐earners in the $60,000 and over category than all other comparator cities outside the region. However, at 11.8 percent, Kingston has a larger percentage of high‐income earners than most Eastern Ontario counties. Median family and household incomes (measures of distribution of income “wealth” in a community) are generally lower in Kingston than in the province as a whole, and are in the middle of the pack of other similar‐sized cities. However, median incomes are higher in Kingston than in most Eastern Ontario communities. There is some evidence that some counties have narrowed the median income gap in the 2000‐2005 period. Kingston’s labour force participation rate is in the middle of the pack of comparator cities but higher than most Eastern Ontario counties. Participation rates have declined in the 2001‐2006 period across much of Eastern Ontario, including Kingston. Compared to the comparator cities, Kingston’s unemployment rate in 2006 was higher than most. Similarly, Kingston’s unemployment rate was higher than virtually all Eastern Ontario counties. This situation is virtually unchanged from 2001. Nonetheless, Kingston’s unemployment rate declined slightly in the 2001‐2006 period, as did the rates of about half of the comparator cities and two thirds of the counties of Eastern Ontario. Compared to the provincial average in 2006, Kingston and much of Eastern Ontario still suffers from higher unemployment rates. On virtually every measure studied, including or excluding Kingston from Eastern Ontario‐wide calculations has virtually no impact on economic indicators. This is a function of two facts: first, Kingston’s population is a much smaller share of the Eastern Ontario total than Ottawa and as a result, does not influence such statistics as averages. Secondly and just as important, on many measures, Kingston’s profile does not differ markedly from the rural areas of Eastern Ontario. Certainly, there are far greater differences between Kingston and other similar‐sized Ontario cities than between Kingston and Eastern Ontario counties. Over the 2001‐2006 period, Kingston’s experienced labour force grew but at a slower pace than in most other comparator cities and most Eastern Ontario counties. Since 2001, Kingston’s employment patterns by sector have changed, with agriculture and resource‐based industries, and manufacturing losing significant ground, and the services industry (both public and private) making significant gains. Finance and real estate, and health, social services and education, and business services have made the biggest gains. However, these gains are often not as large as those of other comparator cities or even many Eastern Ontario counties. While Kingston has a reasonably strong representation of its workforce in managerial, and business, finance and administration occupations, certain comparator cities have exhibited stronger performance in this area (ex. Waterloo, Ottawa). The same pattern appears to hold for employment in the natural and applied sciences and related occupations. Given the strong educational attainment of the Kingston population, this pattern may warrant further investigation. Occupations which are under‐represented in Kingston (in comparison to other cities and nearby rural counties) are primary processing, and processing, manufacturing and utilities. This suggests that if Kingston wishes to grow private enterprise in the natural resource processing and manufacturing arena, or to create clusters in these areas, the city will need to acquire or attract management talent as well as support “anchor” companies around which clusters could be built. From an occupational representation perspective, Kingston’s strength is in three categories: 1) health, 2) social services, education, government service and religion, and 3) arts, culture, recreation and sports. Sales and service occupations are also strongly represented but not quite as dramatically as the preceding categories.   Population, Growth and Related Characteristics At 117,707 residents, the City of Kingston is the largest city in Eastern Ontario (not including that nation’s capital Ottawa) and in the middle of the pack of selected comparator cities in Southern Ontario. London, Barrie, Ottawa and Oshawa are larger; Guelph, Waterloo, Sarnia, Belleville, Brockville and Peterborough are smaller (with populations ranging from 21,957 to 114,943). Kingston’s population growth rate in the 2001‐2006 period (2.64 percent) was lower than most other comparator cities; only Sarnia and Oshawa had lower growth rates. Barrie and Waterloo had the highest growth rates (23.8 and 12.6 per cent respectively). Eastern Ontario (excluding Ottawa) had a growth rate of 3.53 per cent1. This is significantly lower than the province as a whole, which saw a 6.6 per cent growth rate in the same period. Kingston’s geographic area is 450 km2, which is the largest of any comparator city. As a result, the city’s population density (260.23 persons/km2) is lower than all other cities but Belleville (197.85 person/ km2. Eastern Ontario (excluding Ottawa) has a much lower average population density: 25.25 persons/km2. Six (6) percent of Kingston’s population lives at rural route addresses2 which is higher than Guelph, Waterloo, Ottawa, Oshawa or London. Sarnia, Barrie, Belleville, Peterborough and Brockville have higher proportions of the population in rural areas (from seven to 18 per cent). Clearly, the rural areas outside the major cities have much higher proportions of rural route delivery. The proportion of rural route addresses for Ontario as a whole is six (6) per cent. 
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2016 Housing & Homelessness Report in the City of Kingston & County of Frontenac
The 10-Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan aims to end chronic homelessness in the area by 2023. Chronic homelessness is defined as being homeless for a period of six months within the past year, either continuously or episodically. In 2015, the local services for homeless people changed focus from maintaining people in homelessness by enabling long-term emergency shelter-use to ending homelessness through permanent housing solutions. Since then, there has been a 17 per cent reduction in shelter-bed demand. To date, under the Housing First program, 197 formerly homeless households have been housed in permanent housing with supports. In 2016, the City facilitated the introduction of a pilot Street Outreach Program, led by Home Base Housing and with the assistance of volunteers and staff, Correctional Service of Canada, Addiction and Mental Health Services-KFL&A, Youth Diversion, Street Health, and Salvation Army. Starting in the summer of 2016, teams of workers began sweeping the city’s streets and parks to locate, engage and provide water, food, blankets and other harm-reduction supplies to people who are living unsheltered in the rough or who are at imminent risk of homelessness. This initiative has successfully informed people about and connected them to needed services. 
10/08/2017 - 23:53
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Community Plan on Housing and Homelessness Kingston 2006
Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing is a critical issue in Kingston. Kingston is a beautiful city with a vibrant downtown, picturesque waterfront, scenic trails and walks. It has an engaged group of citizens and a quality of life that attracts young families, professionals and retirees. Many of the city’s residents have stable incomes and a comfortable lifestyle. However, like in many other urban centres, there are a growing number of individuals and families who are struggling to secure adequate housing and pay for essentials such as food and utilities. There are also a number of individuals with mental health and other issues, who continue to need emergency shelters. Factors Shaping Homelessness in Kingston Kingston is a regional centre and is the largest city between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. With a large population of public sector employees, it also has a number of private companies and industries. The city’s current GDP (gross domestic product, or GDP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy) is 2.1% with a forecast of 2.4% GDP in 2007. Public sector employees make up 40% of the local workforce.1 Kingston has a large military base, as well as reputable educational institutions, Queen’s University, Royal Military college and St. Lawrence College. It is a regional health centre with three major health institutions – Kingston General Hospital which includes the Regional Cancer Clinic, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Providence Continuing Care Centres, which include Mental Health Services, St. Mary’s on the lake and Providence Manor. Studies on the prevalence of metal illness show that urban centres have a prevalence rate of between 5 to15% higher than more rural areas. Kingston is the home of a specialty psychiatric hospital and several correctional facilities including a regional treatment center for those living with a psychiatric illness. People tend to gravitate to urban areas, or remain in them, to receive the wider availability of services and also to avoid the potential exposure to stigma that may be harder to do in smaller towns as opposed to the anonymity possible in more urban centers. Discharges from these institutions add stress to the city’s services. Vacancy Rates: Economists believe that a vacancy rate of 3% is optimum as it allows tenants some choice and forces landlords to compete while allowing enough occupancy that landlords can expect to earn a profit2. Kingston has continued to have a vacancy rate below average. Vacancy rates in Kingston are 2.4% compared to Ontario’s measure of 3.8%.3 Average Rents: Average rents have also increased significantly while incomes have not. The waiting period for persons seeking affordable housing continues to be long. As of December 31, 2005, there were 922 active households on the centralized waiting list. The number of households on the centralized waiting list has remained fairly consistent between approximately 900-950 households. 
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City of Kingston Report to Council Report Number 16-358, 2016
In January 2015, the 10-Year Plan to end homelessness began implementation in the City of Kingston and County of Frontenac. City Council allocated provincial and municipal funding to four priority areas: Prevention/Diversion Programs; Basic Needs Supports (Homeless Prevention Fund); Housing Assistance/Emergency Shelters; and Rapid Re-Housing/Housing First. The purpose of this report is to ensure appropriate daytime services for the homeless are provided, meal programs and drop in services at The Gathering Place are continued, and the Ryandale overflow emergency shelter continues to be funded. With the new Housing First approach, the emergency shelter system in the City of Kingston changed in July 2015, incorporating shelter specialization by client group and introducing a 15 bed overflow shelter. The total number of shelter beds, inclusive of the overflow shelter, remained unchanged at 86 beds with a goal that as more chronically homeless clients accessing the shelter system are housed, the need for an overflow shelter would be eliminated. To date, 165 households including a total of 224 people have been housed under the Housing First model. The occupancy rate for the shelter system for the month of September 2016 was 79% and at Ryandale Shelter the occupancy rate was 60% in September. The ideal occupancy rate for the overall shelter system is 90%, which indicates that resources are being allocated appropriately. A goal of the 10-Year Plan is to reduce shelter bed utilization by 50% by 2023. Ryandale Shelter has been working with City staff and community members to develop a plan to re-purpose their shelter facility to offer services which would benefit the Housing & Homelessness Services System (HHSS). At this time, City staff are recommending that Ryandale Shelter be funded until June 30, 2017 as shelter utilization usage does not yet warrant its discontinuation as an overflow shelter. Prior to the expiration of this funding, City staff will present a report to Council analyzing the continued need for the overflow shelter and necessary strategies to mitigate the effects of reduced shelter beds in the system. With the introduction of the HHSS, the City worked with funding partners and the funded shelter providers to provide daytime programming and services. While most shelters were able to offer their shelter clients daytime programming by linking them to other programs and services offered by the shelter agency, the 29 bed co-ed shelter operated by Home Base Housing, known as In From the Cold shelter, lacked the financial resources to allow it to offer daytime programming. As an interim measure, to provide daytime services for persons experiencing homelessness and as part of the homeless reserve funding strategy, The Gathering Place was funded to allow it to remain open during daytime hours when Ryandale overflow shelter and In From the Cold Shelter are closed. Statistics indicate that about 80 percent of the clients accessing The Gathering Place are not in fact homeless but are clients living in poverty and substandard housing primarily looking for meals and socialization, getting out of the weather, showers and laundry facilities. For homeless persons, it has been determined that it would be more beneficial to fund the In From the Cold Shelter so that it can remain open during the daytime as it would be in a better position to provide programs to clients accessing the shelter. Daytime services would be focused on moving clients from shelters to permanent housing. Providing these services at In From the Cold Shelter would enable Housing First/Rapid Re-Housing housing-based case managers to better connect and engage with their clients and would also enable shelter workers to more effectively work in partnership with housing-based case managers in supporting clients in meeting their housing plan goals. This partnership would increase the capacity of the HHSS to move chronically homeless clients out of shelters and into permanent supported housing. City staff are recommending that Home Base Housing be provided funding to allow it to remain open during the daytime. This report also recommends that The Gathering Place continue to receive funding for 2017 to primarily focus on the provision of meal and drop in centre services which operates on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and has been funded since 2006. The Gathering Place serves a need in the community by providing approximately 1,200 meals each month for those who are living in poverty. In 2017, City staff will be working with the United Way to develop a food security plan which will include a review of meal service availability and need in the community. City staff will prepare a report to Council to address meal service availability going forward which could have future implications for The Gathering Place. 
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City of Hamilton Point-in-Time Count Community Debrief 2016
Hamilton’s Objectives To connect with as many people as possible experiencing homelessness in our City To understand the scope of need in our community and the levels of vulnerability To inform planning and prioritization of appropriate responses 
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A Place to Call Home: 2016 Annual Report
This Annual Report highlights the measurement and progress that has been made on the targets and goals of the HHP and the Homelessness Strategy in 2016. Municipal investment has been vital to many of these initiatives, and has been reinforced through Federal and Provincial funding under Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funding this past year. The County’s Annual Report on the HHP and Homelessness Strategy is not intended to be an exhaustive account of all housing and homelessness actions that have taken place over the past year. Instead, the focus is on the most significant progress reflecting collaborative, system level initiatives. This report includes two success stories which demonstrate innovative and collaborative programming, illustrating how the support from service providers, government, and the community are all integral to ensuring everyone has a place to call home. The Progress section looks at our community’s advancement towards the 8 goals outlined in the HHP, as well as the Homelessness Strategy. The Measures section of the report shows the impact of the actions taken towards the Short-Term Targets of the HHP and the more detailed targets highlighted in the Homelessness Strategy. The Next Steps section identifies key priorities for the year ahead as part of our commitment to monitor and communicate the progress of the HHP to the community on an annual basis. 
10/08/2017 - 23:37
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Durham Community Labour Market and Industry Environmental Scan
The Region of Durham is situated just east of the City of Toronto in the highly developed and populated economic centre of Ontario that stretches from Oshawa to Niagara Falls. It is comprised of the urban municipalities of Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington as well as the rural areas of Scugog, Brock and Uxbridge. Durham Region encompasses an area of approximately 2,590 square kilometres (1,000 square miles). The region’s population according to the 2011 census was 608,124 citizens. It is considered an increasingly diverse and expanding region. Durham is endowed with a young, skilled labour force and possesses all the utilities, transportation and social infrastructure associated with modern metropolitan communities. The area was historically well known for the strength of its automotive sector that has undergone rapid diversification in the last several years. Restructuring and global competition have resulted in an overall reduction of automotive manufacturing employment in Durham. It is expected that this sector will trend towards advanced manufacturing in the future. This shift has partially contributed to the stagnating local unemployment rate of 6.4% overall recorded for the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area in June 2013. As the automotive sector continues to evolve, emerging labour market trends are expected to impact Durham Region’s urban and rural workforces. These trends have been studied and analyzed in the Durham Workforce Authority’s various sector studies and annual local labour market planning process. 
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At Home in Durham Durham Region Housing Plan 2014-2014
At Home in Durham, the Durham Housing Plan 2014-2024, is an extension of the Region’s commitment to affordable housing set out in Growing Together, the Durham Region Strategic Plan 2009-2014 and the Regional Official Plan. It is an integrated housing plan that lays out the Region’s vision for housing during the next 10 years, and aligns this vision with the requirement for a housing and homelessness plan under the Housing Services Act and the housing strategy required under the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. At Home in Durham will address the challenges and opportunities in providing suitable and affordable housing options that meet the needs of all of Durham’s current and future residents. At Home in Durham sets out the Region’s direction for housing, including an assessment of current and future housing needs; goals related to the identified needs; and realistic actions to meet the diverse range of these needs. It provides a description of anticipated outcomes and how progress is to be measured as Durham works to implement its plan. 
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At Home in Durham 2017 Annual Report
At Home in Durham, the Durham Housing Plan 2014-2024, was approved by Regional Council in June 2014. The plan lays out the Region’s long-term vison for housing and addresses the challenges and opportunities in providing suitable and affordable housing options that meet the needs of all people in Durham. At Home in Durham focuses on four key goals related to housing and homelessness in our communities: 1) End homelessness in Durham 2) Affordable rent for everyone 3) Greater housing choice  4) Strong and vibrant neighbourhoods
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CMHC Rental Market Report Greater Toronto Area 2016
Key Analysis Findings „„Rising costs of homeownership continued to keep more people in rental accommodation „„Rising supply in both primary and secondary markets had little impact on tightening vacancy rates „„Millennials and newcomers to the GTA continued to drive rental demand 
10/08/2017 - 23:27
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CMHC Rental Market Report Greater Toronto Area 2016
Key Analysis Findings „„Rising costs of homeownership continued to keep more people in rental accommodation „„Rising supply in both primary and secondary markets had little impact on tightening vacancy rates „„Millennials and newcomers to the GTA continued to drive rental demand 
10/08/2017 - 22:28
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