Early Intervention

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.

Early intervention is a means of “preventing escalation”. We want to stop someone from becoming so entrenched in homelessness that it becomes almost impossible for them to leave and is targeted at those in the early stages of homelessness.

Early intervention strategies are designed to work quickly to support individuals and families to either retain their housing, or if that is not possible, to use rapid rehousing strategies to ensure people move into safe and appropriate accommodation with the supports that they need.  Elements of effective early intervention include: coordinated assessment, case management, and shelter diversion strategies such as host homes.  For youth who have become homeless family reconnection -- a client-driven case-management approach to help resolve conflicts between young people who leave home and their caregivers. -- is important. Key supports can include family mediation, rent banks, landlord-tenant mediation.