Being homeless means seldom being safe, both on the streets and in shelters. There are few safe spaces for the homeless. We believe that everyone deserves to have a safe place to call home. Our range of housing services include our Homeless to Homes, Community Bridge and our Outreach Housing Team .
Alongside our housing programs, we help people access financial resources in order to be able to afford housing. We assist individuals and families with applications for subsidized housing and provide them with support when they are faced with housing issues.
Homeless to Homes
Homeless to Homes (H2H) is based on principles of Housing First which assert that housing should be addressed prior to any other barrier in an individual’s life. H2H is one of six Intensive Case Management Teams that receive funding through Alberta Community Supports and Homeward Trust to fulfill the mandate of both the Provincial and Municipal 10-Year Plans to End Homelessness.
Intensive Case Management (ICM) is a deliberate, intensive, calculated intervention designed to identify and remove barriers to housing. Roughly 15 – 25% of all homeless individuals in any municipality will be candidates for an ICM team. Homeless to Homes works with other programs at Bissell Centre, and Homeward Trust, through coordinated intake to prioritize participants that are eligible for our services.
Participants in H2H are provided assistance in finding and setting up a market apartment in the neighborhood of their choice (except for the downtown core). Once moved in, an H2H Follow Up Support Worker (FSW) works with the participant to develop a Service Plan with the ultimate goal of increased housing stability. Participants can expect to receive supports to learn and explore their new community, move essential services such as pharmacies and dentists to their new community, and be introduced to resources in their new communities. In order to make this happen, once housed, all H2H services will be completed in the community. Participants receive support from their FSW at minimum every fourteen days, and the duration of the support from H2H is no less than one year.
H2H is currently funded to provide Intensive Case Management services to 170 adults and children. Bissell Centre’s 24/7 Mobile Assistance Program (MAP) also carries a caseload of 80 more people in the Housing First program, bringing Bissell Centre’s total to 250.
Homeless to Homes
General Information Line
The Community Bridge is a rapid response intervention delivered by existing multi-program, human service organizations to stop an imminent eviction and provide interventions and services to ensure that causes of the eviction are effectively addressed in order to ward off reoccurrence.
The interventions are multi-faceted but include funds that can be accessed, when required, to pay delinquent rent, utilities, or other costs. If these financial issues are not addressed, they will cause an eviction. The use of such funds is not, however, the answer by itself. Along with the funds, rapid interventions that address the ongoing housing, income/employment or other contributing factors are required more often than not in order to sustain housing after the eviction has been stopped.
The Community Bridge also provides an opportunity to test a way of working that expects collaboration and cooperation across sectors. This would include community social agencies, landlords, and utility companies that historically haven’t had sufficient, well-defined, ways to combine their efforts for a common goal and mutual benefit.
The vision of The Community Bridge includes strong partnerships across all sectors that leverage existing services while directing funds to the preventative efforts that stop homelessness before it occurs, and sets the stage for actions people and systems can undertake to improve lives and people’s futures. The vision is of a service that reduces the economic costs of poverty that all of us fund in one way or another.
Please read our 12 Month Summary Report (July 1st, 2015 – June 30th, 2015).
For more information contact, please call: 780.423.2285 ext. 122
Outreach Housing Team
The sole purpose of the Outreach Housing Team is to locate, engage, and house people who are homeless. The team will work in under-serviced and unreached areas of the city where homeless people congregate and provide follow-up support to those housed.
Please visit the Outreach Housing Team webpage for more information.