The “Housing First” model: Immediate Access to Permanent Housing

In North America, the traditional standard for housing homeless adults is the “treatment first” or “continuum of care” model. This involves what is essentially a lengthy and arduous audition, wherein a provider or team of providers of services to the homeless judges a homeless person’s “housing readiness.” The assessment continues as the person progresses from emergency shelter to transitional housing to permanent housing with few if any supports. To reach this goal, the person must generally abstain from drugs and alcohol and in some cases take physician-prescribed psychotropic medication. Noncompliance with any of the conditions can result in a delay in the transition or expulsion altogether.

Publication Date: 
2008 Special Edition
Journal Name: 
Canadian Housing