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What Makes CAT Different?

What is the difference between CAT and the other Housing First Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams in Edmonton? Unlike the other Housing First Acute Care Teams, such as Diversity and Pathways, we do not provide housing. Referrals to CAT are not transfers. The Housing Teams will retain their participants and continue to provide

follow up support services and tend to housing needs, financial arrangements, education, criminal justice involvement, child welfare arrangements, identification and other non-clinical concerns.

Clinical Access Team Services

CAT offers direct clinical services to clients, as a bridge to more established services in the community, in the following areas:

  • Addictions Counseling
  • Concurrent Disorders Counseling
  • Family Supports
  • Mental Health Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Outreach Nursing
  • Peer Supports
  • Trauma Counseling


CAT provides clinical assessments required for referral to government social and income support programs, treatment centres and to a range of supportive housing options.

Contracted Services

CAT has some limited contract funds to access external service providers, when deemed necessary.

Is CAT a Crisis Team?

Although CAT helps to prevent crises, it is not a Crisis Team. It does not offer 24 hour services.

Length of Stay

A client remains with the Team until they reach the service plan goals that he/she agreed to in consultation with CAT. If a client leaves their housing program before this time, then CAT cannot continue services.

What kind of services does CAT offer?

CAT helps clients stay housed by ensuring appropriate physical health, mental health, and addictions and other wellness supports are available to them in their communities. The Team adopts a client-led, harm reduction and recovery focus while providing a range of direct and referred services.

Clinical Access Team works with each client to create an individual SMART Service Plan with clearly stated goals, objectives, roles and timelines. The plan is led by the client and can be revisited as appropriate.


CAT makes referrals to a network of external service providers in the community that are appropriate and effective for each client.

People who have been chronically homeless can be referred for Team services if they are a Housing First or Homeward Trust participant and are:

  • Willing to meet with CAT in person
  • Appear to have a clinical issue (mental health; physical health; addiction; cognitive or developmental issue)
  • Have not been able to access relevant clinical services despite previous attempts.

Who Can Refer a Client to CAT?

All referrals to CAT are made through Coordinated Intake at Homeward Trust. Most CAT referrals come from one of the established Housing First Programs from the following agencies:

  • Bent Arrow
  • Bissell Centre
  • Boyle Street Community Services
  • E4C
  • George Spady Society
  • Hope Mission
  • Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre
  • Mustard Seed
  • YMCA

What is the George Spady Clinical Access Team (CAT)?

CAT is a multi-disciplinary outreach team that provides highly individualized support services to chronically homeless individuals and families who have been housed through a Homeward Trust Program and require intensive clinical support to maintain their housing.

By linking participants to care provision along a harm reduction continuum while coordinating with community service providers, the Team is able to offer access to mental health, physical health, substance use and meaningful daily activity, wellness supports and services where barriers otherwise exist.

All individuals and families served by CAT are referred through Coordinated Intake.