The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Plan entails a fundamental change in how the issue of homelessness is addressed operationally as responders move from managing homelessness to ending homelessness. To achieve this end, the Plan has five goals which outline actions to build community support for Housing First. These goals are as follows, education – to build support to end homelessness using the housing first approach, secondly, change management – to successfully transition local systems to housing first, thirdly, prevention – develop a service system to prevent homelessness, fourthly, re-housing – rapidly re-house the current homeless individuals, and fifthly, provision of supports – to provide supports for housing stability. In addition to presenting these goals, the report articulates outcomes and indicators to monitor and evaluate progress achieved. Implementing Housing First in the community requires a purposeful strategy. The Homelessness Initiatives Strategic Committee vision is that the region’s collaborative support system will prevent homelessness and provide the necessary supports and resources to end homelessness by 2020. To build the plan, background research on the Housing First model and the best practices surrounding it was done to help frame the goals and direction. Additional consultations with the community and gathering of homeless counts and other data was also done. Fort McMurray aims to utilize its multi-year plan on housing and homelessness. The focus of the 2007-2010 Homelessness and Affordable Housing Plan was reduction of homelessness using mainly transitional housing. It also addressed improvements to services, quality of services, capacity and coordination, developing an ‘inclusive community’ and opportunities for a place to live for homeless persons. This Plan to end homelessness has five goals that outline actions to build community support for Housing First, manage the transition to a Housing First approach and relate to preventing homelessness, rapidly re-housing those in need and supporting their activities. Each of the five goal areas has one or more desired outcomes as well as tangible, relevant actions to achieve those outcomes. Indicators of success and established timelines have also been included in order to track progress. These actions and timelines will determine the direction of the annual service delivery plan prepared for the Provincial government.
Homelessness-Related Research Capacities in Alberta: A Comprehensive Environmental Scan, prepared by Dr. Katharina Kovacs Burns, MSc, MHSA, PhD and Dr. Solina Richter, PhD, RN for The Alberta Homelessness Research Consortium (2010)