Homeless in Canada

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Updated: 3 hours 35 min ago

Addressing Veteran Homelessness to Prevent Veteran Suicides

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is shifting its focus from ending veteran homelessness to preventing veteran suicides. With supporting data, this Open Forum argues that VA homelessness services also help address veteran suicides. Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate >5.0 times higher compared with veterans without a history of homelessness (6.9% versus 1.2%), and their rates of two-week suicidal ideation were 2.5 times higher (19.8% versus 7.4%). Because the majority of veterans who die by suicide are not engaged in VA care, VA services for the homeless that include outreach efforts to engage new veterans may be reaching some of these veterans. Thus continued federal support for VA homelessness services not only may help address homelessness but also may help prevent suicide of veterans. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its goal to end veteran homelessness and subsequently spent over $10 billion over the next seven years on VA health care, housing, and social services for homeless veterans. Considerable progress has been made, with annual point-in-time counts indicating a 47% drop in veteran homelessness from 2009 to 2016 (1). Under the new federal administration, administrative support and funding for VA homelessness programs may change, but how is not clear. For example, in late 2017, VA Secretary David Shulkin initiated plans to redirect millions of dollars for VA homelessness services to other VA services (2) until a wave of protests from veteran advocates caused the secretary to retract these plans in December (3). Moreover, under the new administration, the VA secretary has made veteran suicide the top clinical priority in the VA, which may shift focus away from veteran homelessness and toward veteran suicide.
Categories: Housing

Still Hungry and Homeless in College

3 hours 35 min ago
Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education: A Continuing Challenge Since 2008, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab has examined food and housing insecurity among the nation’s undergraduates. We initially focused on Wisconsin, assessing prevalence of basic needs challenges in two samples of students—a cohort of Pell Grant recipients entering the state’s 42 public colleges and universities in fall 2008, and a cohort of low- and moderate-income students entering 10 public and private colleges and universities in 2012.3 Then we expanded to consider these challenges at colleges around the nation. Since there is no nationally representative survey of undergraduates that measures food or housing insecurity, surveying samples of students at colleges is the only option.4 This has been a major challenge.5 Limited finances and legal restrictions make it difficult to collect data from multiple colleges while obtaining high response rates. We would prefer to offer students strong monetary incentives and draw representative subsamples of students to focus the surveys on, but lack both the money and the data required. Therefore, we field inexpensive e-surveys and send them to each college’s entire population of undergraduates. The low response rates (often south of 10%) trouble us, but the estimates are likely conservative—our surveys do not explicitly recruit hungry or homeless students, and we expect that they have far less time or energy to give up for surveys. However, we leave that assessment to our readers—simply publishing the results as they arrive with as much transparency as possible, and continuing year after year to provide each college and university with its own data. We also continue to call on the National Center for Education Statistics to assess basic needs security on their nationally representative studies of undergraduates, and ask that other surveys of students include these questions as well.6 This report is about our third national survey. In 2015 we worked with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and invited all 1,200 of their members to do the survey. In total, 10 community colleges in 7 states accepted, and just over 4,000 students completed the questions. In 2016, we again partnered with ACCT, and 70 of their members responded, coming from 24 states, with a few repeats from 2015. More than 33,000 students completed that survey. In 2017, we opened the invitation up to any college or university, 2-year or 4-year, public or private, offering to support their efforts to address students’ basic needs by collecting data to inform their practices. This year’s survey is a purely voluntary, non-random sample, and includes 66 colleges and universities, including 31 community colleges and 35 4-year colleges and universities from 20 states and Washington, D.C. In total, 43,000 students responded, including over 20,000 in the 4-year sector. This is, therefore, the largest national assessment of basic needs security among 4-year students.
Categories: Housing

Men’s experiences of early life trauma and pathways into long-term homelessness

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract Previous studies that have explored the association between childhood trauma and homelessness indicate that traumatic events can lead to survivor distrust of interpersonal relationships and institutions, prolonged homelessness and poor health and social outcomes. The majority of this literature relies on quantitative data and fails to investigate the personal experiences of childhood trauma that are found to impact housing status later in life. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 men living in an urban area in Ontario who had spent more than 30 consecutive nights in an emergency shelter over the course of their housing histories. During data analysis, it was observed that all of the men had experienced some form of trauma or neglect in childhood which contributed to their entries into homelessness. Using a case study approach, three entry pathways into long term homelessness are described: 1) youth; 2) emerging or early adulthood; and 3) middle adulthood. Participants are classified into the pathways by the developmental period at which they first entered homelessness. These findings have implications for policy makers and service providers, as key intervention points are identified. Establishing effective interventions that address crises experienced at these points could assist with homelessness prevention across the life course.
Categories: Housing

Transitions between Housing States among Urban Homeless Adults: a Bayesian Markov Model

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore how marginalization, substance abuse, and service utilization influence the transitions between streets, shelters, and housed states over the course of 2 years in a population of urban homeless adults. Survey responses from three yearly interviews of 400 homeless adults were matched with administrative services data collected from regional health, mental health, and housing service providers. To estimate the rates of transition between housed, street, and shelter status, a multi-state Markov model was developed within a Bayesian framework. These transition rates were then regressed on a set of independent variables measuring demographics, marginalization, substance abuse, and service utilization. Transitions from housing to shelters or streets were associated with not being from the local area, not having friends or family to count on, and unemployment. Pending charges and a recent history of being robbed were associated with the shelters-to-streets transition. Remaining on the streets was uniquely associated with engagement in Bshadow work^ and, surprisingly, a high use of routine services. These findings paint a picture of unique and separate processes for different types of housing transitions. These results reinforce the importance of focusing interventions on the needs of these unique housing transitions, paying particular attention to prior housing patterns, substance abuse, and the different ways that homeless adults are marginalized in our society.
Categories: Housing

Unlocking Doors To Homelessness Prevention (2018)

3 hours 35 min ago
Since launching in 2014, Your Way Home has seen much success in rapidly rehousing those in Montgomery County who are experiencing homelessness. Findings from the research will assist Your Way Home in building a new agenda to expand its work into prevention efforts. The following themes were identified: - The causes of eviction and homelessness are multi-dimensional. - Race plays a critical role in determining eviction rates and is also correlated with rates of homelessness. - The challenge of prevention is targeting services and resources toward those most likely to become homeless. - Accurately targeted and effective community-based prevention programs can be cheaper for communities where shelter stays are expensive.  Access the report above, which provides a national scan of eviction prevention and homelessness prevention programs in local communities. Specific programs in other areas of the country are profiled. Eight key lessons are offered, and a link is provided for how policy makers, grantmakers and providers can best implement these lesssons (pg. 8). HealthSpark is proud to have partnered with Your Way Home on this seminal report.
Categories: Housing

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018

3 hours 35 min ago
The homelessness monitor is a longitudinal study providing an independent analysis of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England. It considers both the consequences of the post-2007 economic and housing market recession, and the subsequent recovery, and also the impact of policy changes. This seventh annual report updates our account of how homelessness stands in England in 2018, or as close to 2018 as data availability allows. It also highlights emerging trends and forecasts some of the likely future changes, identifying the developments likely to have the most significant impacts on homelessness. While this report focuses on England, parallel Homelessness Monitors are being published for other parts of the UK. Key findings Homelessness has shot up the media and political agenda over the past year. All of the major party manifestos made mention of homelessness in the snap June 2017 election, and the Conservatives under Theresa May pledged to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027. The Prime Minister has also established a high-level Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce supported by an expert Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel. This political attention is in large part a response to the ongoing rise in officially estimated rough sleeper numbers, with the national total now up by 169 per cent since 2010. The more robust statistics routinely collected by the CHAIN system similarly show London rough sleeping having more than doubled since 2010. Latest figures show London rough sleeping involving UK nationals continuing to increase very slightly. However, thanks to a sharp contraction in street homelessness involving those of Central and Eastern European and other non-UK origin, overall London rough sleeping has marginally reduced since 2015. At just over 59,000, annual homelessness acceptances were some 19,000 higher across England in 2016/17 than in 2009/10. With a rise of 2 per cent over the past year, acceptances now stand 48 per cent above their 2009/10 low point. However, administrative changes mean that these official statistics understate the true increase in ‘homelessness expressed demand’ over recent years. Since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, at twice the rate of homelessness acceptances. Thus, the overall national total rose by 8 per cent in the year to 31 March 2017, up 61 per cent on the low point six years earlier. A continuation of this trend would see placements topping 100,000 by 2020. Though accounting for only 9 per cent of the national total, bed and breakfast placements have been rising particularly quickly, and now stand 250 per cent higher than in 2009. The National Audit Office has drawn attention to a 39 per cent real terms increase in local authority spending on temporary accommodation in the five years to 2015/16, a period when expenditure on homelessness prevention declined. All available evidence points to Local Housing Allowance reforms as a major driver of this association between loss of private tenancies and homelessness. These reforms have also demonstrably restricted lower-income households’ access to the private rented sector. The number of Housing Benefit/Universal Credit claimants who are private tenants is now some 5 per cent lower than when the Local Housing Allowance reforms began in 2011, despite the continuing strong growth of the private rented sector overall. This policy has also, as intended, had a particularly marked impact in inner London. Alongside the narrowing opportunities to access the private rented sector (see above), there is a growing evidence of a squeeze on homeless households’ access to social tenancies. This arises not only from the pressure on the highly diminished pool of available social rented properties, with an 11 per cent drop in new lettings in the past year alone, but also a reported increase in social landlord anxieties about letting to benefit-reliant households and those with complex needs. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, due to come into force in April 2018, seems to have garnered significant and growing cross-sectoral support. While there remain concerns regarding the adequacy of the ‘new burdens’ funding granted to local authorities to support the Act’s implementation, the more fundamental issues relate to the growing structural difficulties that many local authorities face in securing affordable housing for their homeless applicants.
Categories: Housing

Poverty Reduction Strategy (Annual Report 2017): Ontario

3 hours 35 min ago
This report highlights our progress – and what we plan to do next – in our efforts to reduce child poverty, eliminate chronic homelessness, help people move towards employment, increase food security, develop an action plan for income security reform and invest in programs and community-designed solutions. Introduction Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy is based on the vision that every Ontarian has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and to contribute to a prosperous and healthy province. This report shares information about progress, profiles local poverty reduction efforts, and highlights areas where we can better support people by creating fairness and opportunity for all Ontarians. Cumulative investments can reduce poverty and improve quality of life by providing meaningful supports to people at every age and life stage. In 2017, we took action to empower individuals and families to confidently navigate key milestones, whether they are having a child, exploring postsecondary education, entering the workforce, seeking retraining for a new career, or shifting into retirement. We integrated our supports and services to better meet user needs. This builds on our earlier actions and is making a difference in the lives of Ontarians. The Poverty ReductionStrategy Indicators (see Chapter 5) measure our progress. Helping Ontarians realize their potential in a changing economy requires a responsive and adaptable system of employment, income and social supports. We are making progress on reducing the gap between income and the cost of living through increases to the minimum wage, the introduction of OHIP+, housing supplements, child care fee subsidies, full-day kindergarten, and free average tuition. We are building on the findings of the Income Security Reform Working Group and parallel working groups with First Nation and Indigenous partners to reform income security. In addition, we are piloting a basic income that will help inform our longer-term plans to better support people living on low incomes. We will continue to collaborate with the Federal government on their poverty reduction strategy, and with Indigenous partners, municipalities and service partners, to achieve results and improve incomes for Ontarians. And as always, we are excited to continue to engage and learn from Ontarians on how best to reduce poverty and improve outcomes for all.
Categories: Housing

City of Kingston & County of Frontenac - 2017 Housing & Homelessness Report

3 hours 35 min ago
The Street Outreach Pilot Program, the extension of the Portable Housing Benefit to help safely house survivors of domestic violence, the opening of the One Roof Kingston Youth Services Hub and the completion of energy-saving updates to social housing, are among the highlights outlined in the City of Kingston's 2017 Report on Housing and Homelessness. "At 0.7 per cent, Kingston has the lowest vacancy rate in Ontario, which is a major challenge for low-income residents in rural and urban areas. The housing and homelessness programs and services offered by the City and the County of Frontenac are there to help people find and maintain safe, accessible and affordable housing," says Sheldon Laidman, director of housing and social services. Also included in the report are summaries of affordable housing projects, current market housing data and information on affordable housing programs.
Categories: Housing

Seeking Supportive Housing: Characteristics, Needs and Outcomes of Applicants to The Access Point

3 hours 35 min ago
Currently in Toronto over 13,000 people are on the waitlist for mental health and addictions supportive housing. Understanding this population and how to meet their needs addresses an often overlooked health equity gap. This report is an analysis of the waitlist for mental health and addictions supportive housing in Toronto. It examines the characteristics of applicants, their support needs and housing preferences, and the patterns of wait times and outcomes of applying. Understanding the unique needs of this population will enable policy-makers to coordinate investments to ensure better outcomes. Further, it will provide an opportunity to develop program standards, common definitions and criteria and identify options to better meet client needs.  Most of the data are extracted from the administrative database of The Access Point, the coordinated access system for this supportive housing. This report summarizes a more detailed technical report which is also available.  Highlights of the Research Findings Demand for supportive housing far outstrips supply. In a recent two-year period, over 4,000 new people applied while less than 600 were placed in supportive housing.  Most applicants have long wait times. Nearly 60 percent (4,431) of applicants on the waitlist had been waiting for housing for two or more years and those waiting longest (top 10% on the waitlist) had been waiting 4.5 years or longer. Support needs vary, e.g. looking after the home, meal preparation, managing medications, avoiding crises, and addressing drug or alcohol use. The vast majority of applicants needed support in more than one of these areas. Applicants have high levels of housing need as well as great need for supports. More than half of them (52%) self-identified as homeless or in temporary housing when they applied.  A large majority of applicants stated a preference for self-contained supportive housing units. Only six percent specifically requested shared accommodation.  Applicants were diverse in their living situation, health and clinical issues: Homeless applicants included 11 percent (of total applicants) residing in shelters, 7 percent in hospital, 3 percent in jail, and 16 percent with no fixed address. One-third of applicants had mood disorders and another third had psychotic disorders, with anxiety and various other diagnoses among the rest.  Over one-third of all applicants reported problematic substance use. One-quarter of applicants reported current or recent criminal justice system involvement. One in every eight applicants reported high hospital inpatient use for mental health reasons (50 or more inpatient days in the two years before they applied). Support needs varied across the above applicant characteristics. However, two broad groupings were evident: people with psychosis diagnoses, higher hospital inpatient use, and functional support needs; and people with problematic substance use, criminal justice involvement, and needs related to managing crises.  One-fifth of people who were placed in a supportive housing unit were selected by the housing provider rather than drawn from the wait list. These “partnership applicants” were less likely to report being homeless and reported fewer support needs on average. There is wide variation in how long people wait for supportive housing. This may be the result of direct access for some applicants through partnership arrangements; boarding homes which have higher turnover and therefore faster access; and the inherent complexity of matching people with specific needs and preferences to particular housing and supports. Applicants’ wait times from application to placement in housing did not vary substantially based on mental health diagnosis, homelessness, inpatient hospital use or partnership status. But people with problematic substance use, criminal justice involvement, or more support needs tended to wait longer. Applicants are not always placed in the support intensity they request when they apply. This is attributable both to the more numerous openings in boarding homes that provide daily support, and to the absence of clear system-wide definitions of support intensity. Diverse needs and limited openings make it challenging to match applicants to suitable housing. Half of applicants offered supportive housing refused the first offer made.  Applicants declined by housing providers because their support needs were too high were more likely to report problematic substance use, criminal justice involvement and homelessness. 
Categories: Housing

A transitional housing program for older foster youth: How do youth fare after exiting?

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract Purpose This study is an outcome evaluation of Bay Area Youth Center's Real Alternatives for Adolescents (RAFA) transitional housing program in Hayward, California. Methods This study examined a sample of 55 youth ages 16 to 21 who lived in the RAFA transitional program between 2007 and 2015. Results About 96% were in residing in stable housing at follow up, there were low rates of parenting before age 22 (41% of females and 16% of males) when compared with other similar studies, and 86% were employed earning, on average, $15.69 per hour at follow-up. Also, there were lower rates of receipt of SSI, food stamps and TANF income support when compared to foster youth in other studies. Conclusions In vivo housing experiences in transitional housing programs can lead to successful outcomes for foster youth as they move to adulthood.
Categories: Housing

Using Housing First in Integrated Homelessness Strategies

3 hours 35 min ago
This report explores Housing First in relation to the evidence base on services designed to end homelessness among single people (i.e. lone adults) with support needs. Some attention is given to prevention and relief services, but this report is concerned with services for those single homeless people who require support as well as housing. The report does not encompass services for homeless families.  The report has four main objectives:  To critically assess the evidence base for Housing First and other homelessness services, considering the extent to which the case for different service models has been proven or disproven.  To consider the state of the evidence on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of different service models.  To review the potential for different service models to contribute to an effective, integrated strategy to prevent homelessness and to minimise the risk of homelessness becoming prolonged or recurrent.  To consider how lessons from various service models might be employed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of homelessness services as a whole.  Globally, the existing evidence shows that integrated homelessness strategies that encompass effective homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing systems for when homelessness first occurs and a range of housing related support services for homeless people with high and complex needs – which includes Housing First working in coordination with other services – can deliver a ‘functional zero’ in homelessness.  The Finnish, Danish and Norwegian strategies show what can be achieved with the use of Housing First within a coordinated, integrated homelessness strategy which includes a mix of service models.  Crucially, these strategies have shown success by using Housing First alongside a mix of other models of floating (mobile) support and fixed-site supported housing, including congregate and communal models. This review explores the ways in which Housing First and other services are best employed within integrated homelessness strategies.  The report begins by looking at how changes in the understanding of homelessness and its financial, as well as social, costs have led to the development of new service models and to the emergence of integrated strategic responses to homelessness. The following section then critically explores the evidence base for different service models, including Housing First.  Finally, the report considers the lessons from the evidence to discuss what the optimal mix of services within an effective homelessness strategy should look like, and how the key lessons and successes from different models of homelessness service might be used to enhance the prevention and ending of homelessness.
Categories: Housing

Europe's Youth: Between Hope and Despair

3 hours 35 min ago
In this year’s edition of the “Caritas Cares!” series, we undertake a stocktaking of the conditions of young people in Europe, as Caritas organisations perceive them in our social services, programmes and grassroots projects. Caritas member organisations report about their practices in the countries, providing evidence of the needs and testimonies of the vulnerable populations they are serving and they come forward when rights are being violated or are becoming more difficult to realise. It is our aim, therefore, to draw policy makers nearer to the impacts of their social policies as they impact on the ground, affecting the lives of people. Young women and men, aged 16 to 29, face major challenges in their life course when they transition from childhood to adulthood. This includes their identity formation, moving out from their parents’ home, transitioning from school to work, including choosing a professional career, and establishing a family of one’s own. All these challenges have become even more difficult in the last decade due to the protracted economic crisis and the changes in labour markets that have hit youth the hardest, e.g. in terms of youth unemployment, wages, working conditions and access to social protection. Our findings indicate that the current situation of youth in Europe has wider and longer-term consequences for our societies, labour markets and social protection systems. We identified a phenomenon of what we would call SINKies - Single Income, No Kids: Sinkies are young couples both working but who, wages combined, still earn only the equivalent of one single “decent” income, because of the bad wage levels and precarious working conditions. Being a working poor also prevents people from having kids. As opposed to DINKIES, a term coined in the 1980s to describe the phenomenon of couples earning a double income choosing not to have kids because they wanted to enjoy life, Sinkies are young couples who might wish to have children but who simply can’t afford it. And the term also refers to the social consequences of having a first generation in decades that is worse off than their parents, with consequences for social cohesion, social models as well as social protection systems – we run the risk of a sinking society if no action is taken now.
Categories: Housing

Danger Zones and Stepping Stones: Phase Two - A quantitative exploration of young people’s experience of temporary living

3 hours 35 min ago
Depaul UK has launched research, supported by LetterOne, into the experiences of young people affected by homelessness. The report, which was released on Thursday, 22 March 2018, is entitled Danger Zones and Stepping Stones: Phase Two, and makes recommendations based on a quantitative survey of 712 young people. It follows up on the first Danger Zones and Stepping Stones report which was launched in 2016. The original report proposed a new approach to assessing temporary living situations, following qualitative research done with young service users. The second phase of research has revealed the scale of harm that young people in temporary accommodation can be subject to. Around one in five young women responding to the survey had been sexually abused or exploited whilst out of stable accommodation, and around a quarter of respondents identifying as LGBT had engaged in sexual activity in return for a place to stay. The report was based on a survey of people aged from 16 to 25 using homelessness services across England. It found that over half of those surveyed had been harmed whilst in temporary living arrangements. This figure rose to two-thirds of the people identifying as LGBT, 66 percent of whom had experienced harm in temporary living arrangements. Harm done to the young people surveyed included mental, emotional, sexual and physical abuse, pressure to drink alcohol and take drugs and property being stolen or damaged. In response to these findings, Depaul UK called on the Government to reconsider planned changes to supported accommodation. Supported Accommodation refers to housing where accommodation and support are provided together; services which the report showed are safer for young people than informal arrangements.
Categories: Housing

LGBT Youth Homelessness: What are You Going to Do about It?

3 hours 35 min ago
What is the solution to LGBT youth homelessness? If you’re reading this, then it is likely that you (like me) wish for a clear and actionable perhaps simple instructive answer to that question. I imagine that you (like me) know that we do not live in clear and simple times. And there is no single solution to the social problems that contribute to homelessness among LGBT youth— including heterosexism/homophobia, cisgenderism/transbias (the ideology that denies/ pathologizes one’s understanding of their gender and the interpersonal enactment of bias toward transgender and gender-expansive people), poverty, and racism.
Categories: Housing

Greater Sudbury Landlord Toolkit

3 hours 35 min ago
The purpose of the Landlord Toolkit is to make available an easily accessible guide to provide local landlords, social service providers, and housing caseworkers with information about Housing First and how the approach can support people who have experienced homelessness transition to housing stability and prevent eviction.
Categories: Housing

Street WISE

3 hours 35 min ago
Street Wise is a small handbook, created in partnership with the City of Sudbury, comprising of local info and addresses to help navigate the services and locations available in Sudbury and area.
Categories: Housing

Why We Need to Change the Way We Talk about Homelessness

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract This paper discusses findings from the first ever large-scale study on public attitudes to homelessness in the UK. While experts believe that ‘homelessness’ encompasses a wide range of insecure housing situations and some groups are at higher risk of homelessness than others, public attitudes and action towards the issue do not appear to follow suit. The research used four sources of data – 15 expert interviews; 20 in-depth cultural models interviews and 30 on-the-street interviews; and media content analysis of a sample of 333 organisational and media materials about homelessness – to examine how we can communicate in a way that deepens public understanding, attracts new supporters and builds demand for change. Findings reveal that public opinion tends to overlook the relationship between homelessness and poverty or other structural causes in favour of a more fatalistic view that blames individual circumstances and poor choices. Implications for communications are discussed and what the sector needs to do to convince people that homelessness is an issue that can be tackled. The paper’s overall conclusion is that organisations or campaigners need to adopt a more strategic approach to communications – too often we concentrate on raising awareness without translating that awareness into action.
Categories: Housing

Fitting Stories: Outreach Worker Strategies for Housing Homeless Clients

3 hours 35 min ago
Abstract Social service outreach workers serving homeless populations exemplify Michael Lipsky’s concept of street-level bureaucrats who exert considerable discretionary power in performance of their roles. In their efforts to qualify their homeless clients for housing, outreach workers create “fitting stories” that present their clients as qualified for support within the social service contexts that provide housing services. We describe outreach workers’ creation and negotiation of fitting stories with two audiences: homeless clients and institutional gatekeepers. Outreach workers respond to barriers to qualifying their clients for housing by creatively finding ways to manipulate clients’ biographical narratives and evidence to support those narratives in ways that “fit” their clients to agency criteria for housing services. In the process, outreach workers at times play loosely with the letter of the law in attempts to meet the spirit of the law in the service of their clients and agency expectations for service delivery.
Categories: Housing

Housing people who are homeless in Glasgow: March 2018

3 hours 35 min ago
Housing people who are homeless in Glasgow: Summary This report sets out the findings from our review of how effectively Glasgow City Council and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) house people who are homeless. Main findings  The Council is not housing enough people who are homeless quickly enough. In 2016/17 it housed around half of those it had a duty to house. Some people are housed quickly; this works best when all partners have a clear focus on moving people who are homeless into a home quickly.  The Council’s target of securing 3,000 homes for people who are homeless each year is too low for the number of people it assesses that it has a duty to house. It is not referring enough people to RSLs to meet the level of need from people who are homeless. Many people who are homeless have to wait a long time in temporary accommodation.  The Council and its partners have made some important improvements to the process they use to find homes for people, and they are working together more effectively.  The Council aims for a person-centred, needs-led approach to identifying solutions for people who are homeless. This is positive, particularly for people with multiple and complex needs. However, a full and detailed assessment is not necessary for everyone; many people who approach the Council need little help other than getting a home.  The Council’s phased approach to assessing the housing needs of people who are homeless results in duplication of work and unnecessary delay in referring people who are homeless to RSLs.  The Council loses contact with around a quarter of people who are homeless while they wait for a home. The length and complexity of the process in Glasgow is a significant factor in this.  Some RSLs in Glasgow are making a good contribution to housing people who are homeless; some could do more. The proportion of available homes let to people who are homeless by RSLs operating in Glasgow ranged from 8% to 47 %.  Some RSLs in Glasgow refused referrals because the person had former tenant arrears. This is not a good reason to refuse to house a person referred by the Council under section 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and the Council does not always challenge this.
Categories: Housing

Crisis: 2017 CCAP Hotel Survey & Housing Report

3 hours 35 min ago
Introduction 2017 was the worst year for homeless Downtown Eastside (DTES) residents since the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) began doing these annual reports in 2008. With an estimated 1,200 homeless people living in the DTES, with over 500 DTES residents evicted from their homes through no fault of their own, with only 21 new units of housing at welfare rate, with average rents in privately owned and run hotels ramping up to $687 a month, and with the fentanyl overdose tragedies killing people weekly, the community is in deep crisis. Governments need to act immediately to save lives lost to homelessness and drug overdoses. This report will focus on what the housing and homelessness situation is and what the government needs to do to ensure everyone is housed. While there have been some token housing announcements, the new Federal Housing Strategy only commits to ending half of chronic homelessness in Canada (2-20% of all homelessness) in one decade. The City’s new housing strategy doesn’t mention attempting to end homelessness. The Province has provided funds for 600 units of modular housing, which is good, but we need modular housing for all homeless people (2,138 counted in Vancouver in March 2017). In January 2018 the Province announced that it would fund about 300 welfare rate units in the DTES but they won’t be built, probably, for at least 3 to 7 years. These 300 units will only partially make up for the over 500 that we lost in 2017 alone. While the number of affordable units in the DTES and everywhere diminished, the number of low income people in the DTES who are on welfare and disability has increased by almost a hundred people in the last year. Low income people may not be displaced from the neighbourhood, but they are displaced from their homes to the street.
Categories: Housing