Housing First ProgramsCommitted to ending homelessness in Calgary
I’m looking forward to year 5 and year 6 and year 7.
I‘m looking forward to the future.
An open door to housing.
Homelessness is a harsh reality in Calgary, and, given the right circumstances, it can happen to anyone. Our clients face complex issues related to physical health, mental health and addictions – all barriers which can lead to homelessness. We believe in giving our clients a home first, so they can have a safe and stable environment to work through their issues. Referred to as Housing First, we have three programs based on this model: HomeBase, Pathways to Housing, Prelude and Abbeydale Place.
HomeBase houses our community’s most vulnerable homeless population by providing intensive case management support. Our clients face complex issues – often a combination of physical health, mental health and addictions. Those accepted into the program receive support for a minimum of one year, but are supported through wrap-around services as long as they need.
The first step for HomeBase is securing housing for clients. Each client then works with a case manager to develop goals and actions that address the root cause of their homelessness, helping them establish lasting stability.
HomeBase has five key goals:
- Clients will remain stably housed
- Clients will reduce justice, legal and health service usage (i.e. fewer emergency room visits and decreased number of police interactions)
- Clients will improve self-sufficiency (i.e. secure stable source of income and achieve personal goals)
- Clients will engage in mainstream services (i.e. improve social networks, access available social services such as food banks)
- Clients will have their needs met
To be accepted into the HomeBase program, clients must be:
- 18 years of age or older,
- Homeless for six months or longer, and
- Living with vulnerabilities in physical health, mental health or addictions.
Pathways to Housing
Pathways to Housing supports chronically homeless individuals who suffer from major mental illnesses or struggle with the justice system. Instead of punishing clients for harmful choices, we give non-judgmental support and address the issues behind those choices. Clients don’t have to be completely sober or clean before they’re accepted into the program.
Like HomeBase, Pathways uses a Housing First model, but differs because it uses Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). ACT is a highly integrated approach to healthcare – clients are supported by an entire team of professionals, including nurses, mental health specialists, justice specialists and substance abuse specialists.
WEEKLY SUPPORT GROUPS
Pathways to Housing offers several weekly groups to support client needs, including:
- Illness management and recovery (mental health education and support)
- Positive attitudes towards healing (substance use and support)
- Cooking group
- Computer skills training
- Vocational/employment assistance
- Justice walk-in clinic
- Recreational and social activities
Pathways to Housing has maintained an 87% housing retention rate and has reduced client dependency on emergency medical services and the justice system. To be accepted into the program clients must be:
- 18 years of age or older,
- Have a diagnosed significant mental illness, and
- Have been homeless for at least six months.
Abbeydale and Prelude
Abbeydale Place and Prelude provide clients with a stable and safe place to live and then offers 24 hour care and services in place-based housing. Operating on the principles of harm reduction, clients are supported with their psychiatric needs, addiction issues, and medical recovery, empowering them to reclaim their lives.
of clients came into HomeBase with physical health issues
Top 5 Basic Needs provided to Pathways to Housing Clients
- Rent Shortfall/ Subsidy
- Disability Support