The development of plans to end homelessness challenges governments and communities to look at ending the problem of homelessness, rather than just managing it. Beginning in 2000 with the work of the National Alliance to End Homelessness in the US these action plans are now being developed in a large number of cities and provinces across Canada. The planning process helps develop a common vision with specific strategies and activities, measurable outcomes, performance indicators and a timeline.
These plans identify the actions and strategies that must be taken by government, service providers, the community (agencies and individuals) and businesses in order to end homelessness in a specific community. Action plans build in a timeline to address the issue (for instance, a 'five year' or 'ten year’ plan). They include a series of concrete steps that focus on prevention and means of reducing the number of people in need of emergency services.
According to the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness there are four key elements of these plans including outcomes-based planning measures, prevention activities, initiatives to address chronic homelessness (e.g. Housing First) and the development of a robust infrastructure including affordable housing, income initiatives and community support services.
AUTHOR: Gulliver, Tanya (2013) Homeless Hub.