Many different solutions to homelessness have been tried over the years. But most of them have placed conditions on finding a person a home: they had to be sober first; or they had to deal with mental illness or addiction issues first.
We’re turning this approach upside down. We use a philosophy called Housing First. This means that each homeless person gets a home of their own, and the supports they need to stay in their home. So, for instance, if you’re homeless and dealing with mental illness or addictions, we want you to have a home first – and then we’ll help you, when you’re ready, to tackle your addictions or other health issues.
Housing First has proven to be effective in cities across North America.
We also need to dedicate more effort to preventing homelessness - putting in place a safety net for people who are at risk of becoming homeless. Preventive measures are usually far less expensive than managing homelessness. So helping families or individuals with rent, utility payments or support services before they become homeless is much more effective and less costly than providing emergency shelter and crisis services.