Imagine waking up in a strange place one morning and not knowing where you are, not recognizing any of your surroundings. Your mom takes you and your siblings to a cafeteria-style dining hall where you eat a bit of breakfast before taking a bus to school. After classes finish, your mom meets you in the schoolyard and you take transit across the city to another strange building for the night. This time, you are sharing a bed with your younger sister, your brother is on the couch and your mom sleeps on the floor of the living room.
- tgulliver's blog
The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and The Home Depot Canada Foundation are thrilled to launch two toolkits aimed at supporting communities working with homeless and at-risk youth. The first looks at transitional housing initiatives for homeless youth using both on- and off-site models of housing. It features the great work being done by Covenant House Toronto and Covenant House Vancouver. The second toolkit examines an innovative youth employment program in St. John’s Newfoundland called Train for Trades.
Report cards are tools that communities use to measure and analyze their progress in ending homelessness. Report Cards usually build on the 10 Year Plans to End Homelessness by looking at what a community said they were going to do, gathering statistics to determine what has been done, comparing desired goals to actual outcomes and then analyzing and reporting on this progress.
According to the Institute of Development Studies:“Participatory monitoring and evaluation is not just a matter of using participatory techniques within a conventional monitoring and evaluation setting. It is about radically rethinking who initiates and undertakes the process, and who learns or benefits from the findings.”
One of the best methods of determining progress is through the use of Point-In-Time (PIT) Counts. Alternatively referred to as “Street Counts”, “Homeless Counts” or “Street Needs Assessments” PIT Counts are a measure of the number of homeless people on a specific day (hence the point in time reference). This type of counting is known as “taking a snapshot” of the situation. Some communities do a strict inventory of beds and occupancy rates in homeless shelters.
One of the leading causes of homelessness is system failures so preventing these from occurring is an important step in reducing and ending homelessness. While the system can fail in many ways the three biggest occur in child welfare, corrections and health care institutions.
Last year we came across an infographic about the cost to end homelessness in the United States based on a New York Times report from 2012. We wondered whether we could do something similar for Canada. We couldn’t because we didn’t have the numbers until this week when the State of Homelessness in Canada: 2014 was published.
Early Intervention/Secondary prevention is intended to identify and address a problem or condition at an early stage. In thinking about homelessness, this typically means strategies that target people who are clearly at risk of, or who have recently become homeless. This includes systems prevention, meaning working with mainstream institutions so we can stop the flow of individuals from mental health care, child protection and corrections into homelessness.
We received this tweet from Jordan Dawe on Twitter. He asks where donations can best be used to help people experiencing homelessness.
@homelesshub For donations to help homelessness, what kind of organization helps most? Food banks? Shelters? Giving directly to people?
— Jordan Dawe (@freedryk) August 8, 2014
Thanks for an interesting question Jordan.