In 2014, End Homelessness St. John’s (EHSJ) unveiled the St. John’s Community Plan to EndHomelessness 2014-2019. EHSJ is considered the system planning organization for the city’s homeless-serving sector. In that capacity, EHSJ plays a central coordinating role and funds important initiatives pertaining to the Plan.
The Plan estimated its total cost of implementation at $7.7 million, with federal funding (via theHomelessness Partnering Strategy – HPS) accounting for $3.5 million and matching funding at $4.2 million. The actual cost of implementation was $7.8 million, with HPS funding accounting for$4.5 million and matching funding accounting for $3.3 million.
As there are external factors not within EHSJ’s control, this assessment recognizes the context of the last five years and how external factors have impacted the Plan’s implementation, including policies at the federal, provincial and municipal government levels. The macroeconomic and demographic landscape has also influenced the Plan’s implimentation, particularly factors such as high unemployment in the local region, high vacancy levels, and the costs of rent and utilities.
Through the Plan, a range of housing and supports were implemented. These include:
• An Intensive Case Management (ICM) program, called Front Step, which was launched inJanuary 2016 through partners Choices for Youth, Iris Kirby House and Stella’s Circle.
• The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing (HPRR) program, which was launched in October 2017 through partners Choices for Youth and Stella’s Circle.
• Three Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) projects, which were entered into with Cochrane Community Outreach and Performance Centre (CCOPC), John Howard Society of NL, andSalvation Army, for a total of 40 units (including 7 reserved for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness).
Stakeholders clearly stated there is a need for more sustainable housing situations (particularly more supportive housing), more low-barrier shelter capacity, and more harm reduction services.
The need to secure the necessary leadership and resources to end homelessness was identified asa priority area in 2014-2019 Community Plan. Specifically, the Plan called for the need to develop the infrastructure necessary to implement the Plan, coordinate funding to maximize impact, and champion an end to homelessness.