Calgary’s homeless department responds to new ‘housing first’ study

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Calgary’s frontline advocates in the fight against homelessness say a recent report from the University of Calgary shows their approach is working.

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Chaz Smith, founder and president of Be The Change YYC, said he would still be homeless without the housing-first approach that many cities, including Calgary, have adopted over the past decade.

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“Securing housing first means that without securing housing first, we are often unable to address other issues such as mental health, addiction, disability, medical issues, etc. ,” Smith said. “Without housing, we know it is a core need of human shelter. is often found.”

A study by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy found that approximately 55% of clients who participated in a Housing First program in Calgary either chose to participate in the program or graduate to more permanent housing after four years of observation. I found out that I stayed in a house in

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Ron Kneebone, a professor of economics at the school and author of the report, told Postmedia that the study had been in the works for years after a controlled study found it works with small sample sizes. He said that it supports the use of public funds covering a large amount of money. Kneebone’s work extended that work using years of real-world observations.

Rowena Browne, chief development officer at Mustard Seeds in Calgary, says her organization has been even more successful than outlined in the study, with 90% of clients entering their first housing program making the final move. said he would have his own place in responsible for.

“Ninety percent is the ability to maintain their own homes and livelihoods and have jobs to sustain their livelihoods,” Brown said.

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Brown said that as important as the housing a client lives in is the support system they receive while living an affordable life, such as employment coaches and counselors.

Nieborn said the federal government has focused on ending chronic homelessness, where individuals are trapped in a long-term homeless cycle, but the best way to shape housing first Letting the community decide may lead to more success. Program in your own backyard. He said the Calgary program was successful when it catered to clients with a high need for housing rather than those who had been homeless the longest.

If[Calgary]followed federal mandates and focused on chronic homelessness, their programs wouldn’t have been so successful,” Nieborn said.

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Alevig Afarian, spokesperson for Ahmed Hussen’s Minister for Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, said the ultimate goal of Canada’s homelessness strategy is to reduce and eradicate homelessness across the country, and to that end, programs include a variety of programs. He said there is broad eligibility to allow intervention. .

Reaching Home is clearly part of the federal government’s efforts to reduce chronic homelessness, but chronic homelessness is not a determining factor for service eligibility,” Afarian said. said in a statement. “TThrough the 2022 budget, we invested an additional $18.1 million to conduct action research to identify additional measures that can help end chronic homelessness. ”

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Afarian said federal government committed We have invested $299 million in Alberta, including $133 million in Calgary, to help the most needy residents through this strategy, noting that nearly 300 homes have been built in Calgary.

Although the first residence in Calgary has been a success, Brown warned that he is seeing a record number of people enter Calgary’s shelter system, including a record number of women. She said organizations within Calgary need to continue working together to provide triage and transition support for people to live in housing and get out of homelessness.

“I think the biggest gap is for organizations to work together to find solutions that allow them to understand the prevalence of women in shelters. It helps them psychologically cope with the trauma they’re dealing with,” Brown said.

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Calgary’s homeless department responds to new ‘housing first’ study

Source link Calgary’s homeless department responds to new ‘housing first’ study

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