“I really can’t express into words what it felt like to know that I had found a home and that I didn’t have to sleep outside anymore,” said a Medicine Hat man who spent five months sleeping outdoors in a lean-to he’d built from branches and a shower curtain.
What changed for him? A Housing-First program launched five years ago with a goal of ending homelessness in Medicine Hat by 2015. And they’re very, very close to achieving their goal—and being the first city in Canada to end homelessness.
But how do they decide who goes into a house?
How do they figure out what supports people will need to stay housed?
We’re hosting a public learning session where you can find out how it’s done.
Coordinated Intake & Assessment Info Session
Thursday, February 26
Room 119, United Way of Winnipeg (580 Main Street)
Please RSVP—space is limited
There you’ll hear Tracy Flaherty-Willmott, a community development and homelessness expert. She was instrumental in creating and implementing the long-term plan in Medicine Hat.
Tracy now works with OrgCode, a consultancy that has worked with many communities in Canada and the United States, providing policy and planning advice, professional development and coaching, research and evaluation, all related to homelessness.
OrgCode offers training with the Service Prioritization Decision Assessment Tool (SPDAT), which prioritizes who to house first and why, while identifying the areas in a person’s life where support will be required to keep that person housed.
A common assessment tool is an essential component of the Homeless “System of Care” in place in other Canadian cities and recommended by the WPRC Task Force to End Homelessness and already under early development in Winnipeg.
With the support of the WPRC and funding from the Government of Canada, a collaboration of agencies including emergency shelters and Housing First providers are working together to design a system of coordinated intake and assessment similar to that in Medicine Hat. We invite you to be a part of it.