Housing First Team
The Housing First Team houses and supports individuals discharged from the McCullough Centre. The Team assists individuals obtain permanent housing in the Edmonton area and provide them with ongoing support to maintain their housing. The emphasis is on integrating individuals back into the community and linking them with services that exist in the area of the city in which they choose to live.
The principle of Housing First is that every person has the right to a safe, secure home. This principle is at the core of both the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton’s 10 year plan to end homelessness.
The Housing First approach is based on the concept that obtaining stable housing is an individual or household’s primary need, and that other issues will be addressed once housing is obtained. Housing First is economical; it reduces costs incurred by the government. Housing First works; approximately 1750+ individuals have been housed and 80% have retained their housing.
How We Do It
The Housing First Team works with program participants in a collaborative and supportive manner. The Team uses a case management approach that focuses on four major stages.
Stage 1: Intake and Assessment During intake and assessment, support workers meet with participants, get to know them and explore their current or potential challenges. It is also the time to discover if support worker and participant are a good fit.
Stage 2: Action, Interventions and Goal Setting In this stage, support workers help participants find homes that are a “best fit” for their needs and are sustainable. Support workers also help participants access rental assistance, arrange insurance, connect utilities and find furniture. Together, support workers and participants set goals and plan actions to meet these goals. This is the most intense part of the process, but can also be the most rewarding.
Stage 3: Follow Up and Monitoring Participants now have routine in their lives, and they rarely need assistance from their support worker. However, their support worker will meet with them every 1-2 weeks and help them solve problems when necessary.
Stage 4: Exit Participants have achieved housing stability. Even though challenges may still come up, they know where to get the right supports if needed.