#Canada; #HousingFirstProgram; #FrigidTemperatures; #HomelessPeople; #PermanentHousing; #Covid19Pandemic
Canada/Canadian-Media: Housing First program is an essential lifeline right now in Canadian provinces and cities including Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Hamilton, and Fredericton, experiencing frigid temperatures providing safe permanent housing to homeless people, without preconditions, addiction, and mental health challenges, media reports said.
Housing First Canada. Image credit: www.homelesshub.ca
“Housing is not contingent upon readiness, or on ‘compliance’ (for instance, sobriety). Rather, it is a rights-based intervention rooted in the philosophy that all people deserve housing and that adequate housing is a precondition for recovery,” says Housing First in Canada: Supporting Communities to End Homelessness."
Saskatchewan (SK), for example, hit by bitter cold had to cut capacity to allow for physical distancing, had seen this year two freezing deaths in the city of Saskatoon (SK) as homeless people desperately search for spots in shelters or warming places to briefly escape the cold.
"It doesn't matter if people are sober, it doesn't matter if they have bad records of tenancy — nothing matters as long as they are homeless and in need of supports," said Kendra Giles, manager of innovative housing programs at Phoenix Residential Society in Regina.
"We put [housing] in place first, and then you can work on everything else after," CBC News reported.
For the expansion of its managed alcohol program, Phoenix Residential Society in Regina received additional money from the federal Reaching Home program for its support teams to services, including driving clients to medical appointments, teaching them how to cook and clean, managing their finances, and providing addictions counseling.