Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles From the Original Plan

The 10 Year Plan is about ending homelessness. We recognize that the root causes must be tackled (poverty, the shortage of affordable housing are just two examples). But to be effective we felt it important to focus our efforts on ending homelessness.

Client choice: the person who is homeless makes the decisions. She chooses where she wants to live – anywhere in the city, in accordance with the ‘scattered approach’ called for in the Plan. She decides which services and supports she needs to begin her healing process.

Recognizing diverse needs: some people’s needs are so complex that they may never be able to live independently – they may need permanent supportive housing, for example. The Plan allows for flexible solutions, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Closing the front door into homelessness (prevention) is as important as opening the back door out of homelessness.

Becoming Part of the Program

Outreach workers identify people for the Housing First program. It may be over cups of coffee in a support centre. Or it may require frequent conversations in the river valley. Many homeless people are desperate to get into their own home right away. Others are so consumed by day-to-day survival, they take time to fully understand that a home is a real possibility.

Finding an Apartment

The homeless person and support worker talk to the landlord together, sign the lease and get the utilities hooked up.

Becoming part of the program

Setting up a home can be a daunting task: so many details to attend to. The newly housed person can choose good quality, gently used furniture at Find Edmonton. The support worker takes them shopping for their first groceries – helping them decide what to select, what is most nutritious and how to spend wisely. And together they may make a budget for household expenses.

Settling In and Determining Supports

The Housing First program generally lasts a year. During that time the newly housed person gets the supports they need to make the transition into their new life – to tackle mental or physical health problems, to deal with addiction issues.

Graduating from Housing First

After approximately one year, newly housed people who are able are transitioned to other support services as required.