The YMCA of Northern Alberta provides Housing First services in our Wood Buffalo Region. The Housing First ICM Program , embraces the principle of Housing First—that every person has the right to a safe, secure home. The focus is on ending homelessness by providing permanent housing and follow-up support. Individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness are housed first and then given appropriate supports to address barriers, establish relationships, access resources and improve skills to maintain their housing. Support is provided in an intensive case management setting where participant change is encouraged and promoted based on differing needs, personalities and motivations.
Intensive Case Management (ICM)
- The Housing First Support Program is intended to last no more 12 months
- Participants are stabilized then transitioned to a reduced level of support
- The final stages of the program involve planning to discharge the participant once self-sufficient
Requirements for Access to the Homeward Bound Program
- Chronically homeless (3 episodes of homelessness in one calendar year)
- Must score high enough on the SPDAT (Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool)
- Must have an income (Income Support, AISH, Part- Time, Full-Time)
- Must agree to 3rd party rent payment.
- Must agree to receive follow up supports in their home and community.
- Must agree to be a good neighbour.
A Housing Team assists participants in selecting housing of their choice. Responsibilities of the Housing Team include:
- Helping participants search for and identify appropriate housing
- Establishing relationships with landlords, including mediating during times of conflict
- Applying for and managing housing allowances
- Assisting with setting up apartment (furniture, household items, groceries)
- Follow Up Support
A Housing Support Team assists participants in accessing external resources and supports to promote community integration, improve quality of life and foster independent living. Each participant will develop a personal network of support to address skills and resource in areas including:
- Life, Housing and Tenancy skills
- Debt Reduction: budgets, financial aid, finding credit counselling
- Mental health: finding counselling
- Addiction Services: clinical support, rehab, harm reduction
- Medical: doctor, dental, vision and other medical access
- Income Support and Disability
- Daily Meaningful Activity
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