At Home in Winnipeg: Localizing Housing First as a Culturally Responsive Approach to Understanding and Addressing Urban Indigenous Homelessness

Winnipeg is a mid-sized prairie city. Its roots run deep in the community, with a strong sense of resiliency and hope among the agencies that work tirelessly to support those in need. The manner in which Winnipeg’s community responded to increasing levels of homelessness over the last decade forms the basis of the analysis presented in this report. In particular, the objective is to examine the At Home/Chez Soi (AHCS) project and how a number of organizations came together to launch a transformative approach to addressing homelessness for those struggling with mental health issues. Our specific focus is on how local capacity was built and structured to undertake was has been called the largest demonstration project of its kind in the world (Macnaughton et al., 2010). The Winnipeg approach was distinct and involved the inclusion of Indigenous practices to deliver Housing First (HF). This report has a particular focus on how a unique governance model emerged out of partnerships among community-based organizations, government, researchers, and others who collaboratively strengthened local capacity while ending homelessness.

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