When you hear the term “Housing First”, a lot can come to mind. At its core, it’s about providing housing without pre-conditions and linking people up with individualized, community-based supports with no time limits (e.g., an Assertive Community Treatment team, an Intensive Case Management team). But there are many other moving parts to a Housing First program. For example, the core principles of Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) are:
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Lack of housing has profoundly negative effects on the mental health of women and girls who are homeless. Research shows that - compared to housed women - women who are homeless are more likely to experience severe mental health issues – including PTSD, depression, and anxiety – and that these challenges are often linked to factors such as childhood abuse or neglect and violent victimization on the streets. Disparities are evident within homeless populations as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted those who are homeless. The pandemic has resulted in the closure of daytime services like drop-in centres and the closure of public spaces offering access to washroom facilities such as libraries, along with free Internet access.
“…as a system whole, especially with what is happening in the world right now, we need to re-construct, re-work and re-structure how we deliver services. Client identities are missing entirely. Health equity needs to be at the forefront of the change, especially when Black and Indigenous individuals are disproportionately affected by this pandemic. My specific recommendation is a complete flip of how we deliver care.”
~ Survey Respondent
“At 17 ended up homeless, and I came to the shelter, and it was crazy from 18 to about 21. I was like having a place, and not having a place, and moving in with a partner and it not working out and having to leave and start from scratch.”
On July 20th, Making the Shift’s In Conversation webinar series welcomed its first guest, Métis scholar Jesse Thistle. Jesse authored the "Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada" in 2017 and more recently, his national bestselling memoir “From The Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding my Way”.
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies—in which participants are randomized into either a treatment or control group—are a common practice in Western medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. Since the pandemic started, we have quickly had to become literate in public health measures, learn terminology like the “N-95” mask, and appreciate how long it takes to develop a vaccine.
The criminalization of housing insecurity, and the links between criminal justice involvement and homelessness, has become particularly evident during the pandemic. There has been a heightened law enforcement response to homelessness and homeless encampments around the world and within Canada, both in practice and policy responses.
Have you ever wished for a crystal ball to see into the future? What if we had the ability to know ahead of time who might be impacted by domestic violence or homelessness? The idea isn’t so far fetched, maybe not attainable through a crystal ball, but rather by harnessing the power of predictive analytics.
When I said good night to my colleagues on March 13th, 2020, I didn’t think it would take almost a year for us to do so in person again. This pandemic has disrupted how we work in so many ways. Our roles have shifted as we respond to service changes and user needs. Our interactions with colleagues have become limited – whether you’re in the field and have to socially distance or work from home and can only connect virtually.