In Fall 2018, we held a contest asking organizations to submit their programs for a chance to win a free evaluation consultation with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness’s social enterprise, Hub Solutions. We received over 30 incredible submissions from organizations across Canada. We feel so grateful to all who entered, as it gave us the chance to get to know their programs and their evaluation needs more closely. 

And the winner is…

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The Hub Solutions team and I are so excited to announce that the Northern Pathways to Housing program in the Northwest Territories has won the evaluation consultation giveaway! 

This housing program has entered into a five-year partnership with three smaller remote communities in the N.W.T. to develop and operate a supportive transitional housing program. In addition to renovating two existing housing units and completing a brand-new housing unit, they have provided a fully furnished, fourplex building rent-free, on-going funding for partial operating costs for the unit and support workers.

Homelessness in smaller Northwest Territories communities often takes a different form than what is seen in larger communities. 

Since the late 1990s, emergency shelters in urban Northern communities, such as Yellowknife and Inuvik, have reported a steady increase in those experiencing homelessness. Significantly, the vast majority of individuals experiencing homelessness in both of these communities are Indigenous. While there is an overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples experiencing homelessness, most research on homelessness focuses on urban areas, obscuring and diminishing the need to understand homelessness in rural settings. Homelessness tends to be viewed as “out of place” in rural locations. In addition to this, the definition of homelessness for Indigenous peoples is drastically different to Western conceptualization. 

Great strides have been made to address Indigenous homelessness in the N.W.T. Due to the vision of the Liidlii Kue First Nation, five people have been housed and supported through the Northern Pathways to Housing program. 

Indigenous councils know their communities best. The Northern Pathways to Housing program works with local Indigenous community groups to develop, design and implement supportive housing for their residents. As we know, providing social supports alone is often not enough to change an individual’s circumstances. Providing Housing First, in conjunction with social supports, has been found to be an effective model to stabilize a person who is experiencing homelessness. Only then can they begin to address needed changes. 

The Hub Solutions team is excited to partner with the Northern Pathways to Housing program for this evaluation consultation. We hope to answer the following questions:

  • Is the program collecting the right data and do their indicators and outcomes reflect this?
  • How can the program collect data to paint an accurate picture of homelessness on the community level?
  • How can the program streamline their mission within the community, to gain better buy-in? 
  • How can the program better understand the community needs, understand what they do well and what they need to work on?

Curious about the results? We’ll be sure to feature the outcomes of this evaluation on the Hub Solutions website later this year. Until then, follow @homelesshub for the latest updates from our team.

For more information about the Northern Pathways to Housing program, check out these links:

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Do you have a great program that needs evaluation? Let’s work together. 

Hub Solutions is a social enterprise embedded within the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH). Income generated from Hub Solutions fee-for-service work is reinvested into the COH to support research, innovation, policy recommendations and knowledge mobilization. Learn more: