Homeward Trust embraces the principle of Housing First—that every person has the right to a safe, secure home. This principle is at the core of both the Government of Alberta and City of Edmonton 10 year plans to end homelessness. Homeward Trust officially began the Housing First Support Program on April 1, 2009.
How do we do it?
The focus is on ending homelessness by providing permanent housing and follow-up support. Individuals who are experiencing homelessness are housed first and then given appropriate supports.
- The Housing First Support Program is intended to last 12 months
- Clients are stabilized then transitioned to a reduced level of support
- The final stages of the program involve planning to discharge the client once self-sufficient
Housing First Support Program & Housing First Philosophy
The Housing First Support Program is operated in scattered sites throughout the city.
The Housing First philosophy is also applied to permanent supportive housing, where individuals live in a congregate setting with other individuals who would otherwise be homeless if not for the supports and programs in place.
Agencies delivering Housing First in Edmonton:
- Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society
- Bill Rees YMCA
- Bissell Centre
- Boyle Street Community Services
- DiverseCity Housing
- E4C Case Management
- George Spady Centre
- Hope Mission
- Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre
- Pathways to Housing
Housing First Services
Homeward Trust provides a number of services to agencies and clients including:
- Housing First Worker Training: Workers regularly attend workshops and training sessions, where they learn best practices and refine required skills
- Rental Assistance: With support from the Government of Alberta, Human Services, clients receive partial funding towards their rent
- Furniture: Through the social enterprise, Find, clients in the Housing First Support Program receive essential household items including furniture and small household items before moving into their home
- Efforts to Outcomes: This case management and data collection system tracks client progress and information, enabling Homeward Trust and its partners to better meet the needs of clients in the Housing First Support Program.
Where are we now?
- Since 2009, more than 5,000 people have found housing through the Housing First Support Program; more than 80% successfully remain in housing
- Clients are living in more than 800 supported units across Edmonton and the Capital Region
- Find has provided furniture, at no charge to the client, in more than 4,000 units